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LIBRARY 

Walter E. Fernald 
State School 




Waverley, Massachusetts 
No. 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries 



http://www.archive.org/details/reportofhartfordOOhart 



REPORT 



OF THE 



Hartford Vice Commission 



HARTFORD, CONN. 



COMMISSIONERS 

Ernest A. Wells, M. D., Chairman 

J. Gilbert Calhoun, Vice-Chairman Morgan B. Brainard 

William P. Calder, Sec'y and Treas. Gustav A. Kleene, Ph. D. 

Mrs. Isaac W. Kingsbury, Librarian Thomas F. Welch, M. D. 

Flavel S. Luther, LL. D. Edward B. Hooker, M. D. 

Martin Toscan Bennett John G. Gill, Ph. D. 

Miss Martha J. Wilkinson Walter S. Schutz 

Wm. H. C. Whiting Hon. Edward L. Smith 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL S 

FOREWORD 7 

CHAPTER 1. Legal Aspects 8 

CHAPTER n. The Policy of Toleration and Segregation 9 

L Arguments for Toleration and Segregation 9 

n. Discussion of the above Arguments lo 

a. Dissemination of the Evil lo 

b. Street Solicitation 14 

c. Seduction and Rape 16 

d. Police Graft 16 

e. Assistance to Police 18 

f. Sanitary 18 

. Conclusion 20 

CHAPTER in. History of Prostitution in Hartford 21 

Description of Regular Houses and Existence of Genuine Traffic 
in Girls as they Existed in Hartford prior to the Order 

of Closure, December 29th, 1911, 22 

CHAPTER IV. Present Conditions 27 

I. Description of Disorderly Saloons, Hotels, Cafes, etc., as 

they existed during the Winter of 1912 and 1913 27 

Houses of Prostitution since the Order of Closure 34 

Railroad Station 36 

II. Employment Agencies 37 

III. Pimps in Hartford S7 

IV. Male Prostitutes 37 

V. Venereal Disease in Hartford 38 

VI. Illegitimate Births 43 

CHAPTER V. Study of Hartford Prostitutes 44 

I. Analysis of Statistical Data 45 

Birthplace 45 

Age 45 

How long a prostitute 46 

How long a prostitute in Hartford 46 

How long in Hartford 48 

Cause of coming to Hartford 48 

Where they solicit 48 

Where they take patrons 49 

Committed to institutions 50 

Education 50 

Age of first sexual offence 50 

Partner of first sexual offence 51 



Age when first prostituted herself for pay 52 

Has she practiced prostitution continuously since 52 

Perversion 53 

Weekly earnings from prostitution 53 

Highest weekly 

Lowest weekly 53 

Was prostitution her only means of support 53 

Means of support other than prostitution 53 

Weekly earnings from sources other than prostitution ... 54 
Has she ever given any of her earnings from prostitution 

to any other person 54 

Has she now or has she had any children 55 

What trade or calling did she follow before becoming a 

prostitute 55 

Weekly earnings at trade before becoming a prostitute ... 55 

Where did she live before becoming a prostitute 56 

Paid for room and board before becoming a prostitute . . 56 

n. Special data from life histories 56 

CHAPTER VI. Alleged Causes of Prostitution 66 

I. Demand 67 

II. Supply 68 

Low Wages 68 

Defective Physical Condition 70 

Defective Mentality 71 

Lack of Wholesome Recreation 72 

III. Commercial Factors 73 

The Liquor Traffic 74 

Use of Theatres by Prostitutes 74 

CHAPTER VH. Alleged Preventive Measures 76 

I. Education in Sex 76 

II. State Reformatory for Women 78 

III. Preventive Work by Women with Police Powers 79 

IV. Opportunities for Recreation 80 

Parks 80 

Use of School Buildings for Community Purposes 80 

Our Churches 80 

Moving Pictures 81 

Other Recreational Opportunities 81 

V. Improvement in Physical Surroundings as a Cure for Vice 81 

VI. The Reporting of Venereal Diseases 82 

VII. Physician's Certificate as a Pre-requisite for Marriage . . 84 
VIH. The Publishing of Banns 85 

IX. Age of Consent 85 

X. Arrest of Patrons of Prostitution 85 

XI. The Iowa Injunction and Abatement Law 86 

XII. Tin Plate Ordinance 86 

Conclusion 87 

CHAPTER VIII 89 

Specific Recommendations 89 



REPORT OF 
THE HARTFORD VICE COMMISSION. 

Letter of Transmittal. 

Hartford, Conn., July 14, 191 3. 

To his Honor the Mayor and the Honorable Court of Common 
Council of the City of Hartford. 

Gentlemen : 

In January, 19 12, the following resolution was passed by 
the Court of Common Council : 

"That the Mayor is hereby authorized and directed to appoint a 
Committee of not more than fifteen residents of the City of Hartford, 
whose duty it shall be to inquire into the conditions existing within the 
limits of this City with reference to the social evil, so-called. 

The Commission shall from time to time transmit to the Mayor and 
Court of Common Council written reports of existing conditions, together 
with such recommendations as it shall deem advisable." 

In compliance with the above resolution we, the under- 
signed, beg to transmit herewith, with accompanying resolutions, 
a report on our investigation of the social evil, together with 
such recommendations as we are prepared to make. Our report 
is based, as far as possible, on concrete data gathered in 
Hartford. No adequate study of our local problem could be 
made, however, without a consideration of some of the more 
general factors; and when a piece of investigation has been 
well done elsewhere, and it was evident that the conclusions 
reached were applicable to this city, it has seemed unwise to 
go to the expense of having a similar investigation made here. 

The cost of hiring competent investigators and sten- 
ographers is considerable. The Commission has expended to 
date $2,160.30, and could have used a larger sum to great ad- 
vantage. All the sums spent were obtained from generous 
private donors. Only twenty dollars, however, came to the 

Commission without solicitation. No public money has been 
spent. 

5 



The Commission has held many hearings. Testimony has 
been invited from all individuals, societies or organizations that 
might be conceived to have information as to causes and effects 
of prostitution, or distinct views upon methods of dealing with 
this evil. Much of the work has been done by committees 
appointed by the Commission. Several private investigators 
were employed and a large mass of evidence gathered. 

We take this opportunity of thanking those organizations 
and individuals who have in any way aided in the carrying out 
of our plans. 

Respectfully, 

ERNEST A. WELLS, M. D., 

Chairman 



REPORT OF 
THE HARTFORD VICE COMMISSION 

FOREWORD. 

In undertaking the performance of the duty imposed upon 
us by the resolution of the Court of Common Council, we trust 
we have not failed to appreciate the immense difficulty of the 
problem presented by the social evil. The appearance of this 
evil in every period of civilization, and the nature of some of 
its causes, indicate the existence of more or less prostitution 
as inevitable under present conditions. But this constitutes no 
argument for letting it run its unbridled course. As well let 
murder and theft go unchecked because it is not possible to 
stamp them out entirely. The suffering and degradation caused 
by commercialized vice make it a duty to do all in our power 
to diminish it. Even if only a small reduction of the evil 
could be gained by extreme efforts it would be worth while. 
We are of the opinion, however, that certain measures can be 
taken which distinctly tend to check the growth of commercial- 
ized vice, and limit its scope. Moreover, an aroused public 
conscience makes the present a favorable time for striving to 
establish a higher standard. 



CHAPTER I. 
LEGAL ASPECTS. 

\Hartford became incorporated as a city about the end of 
the eighteenth century. There is no record that the municipal 
government has ever made any attempt in the form of 
ordinances to regulate the social evil. This question has always 
been dealt with by the state government.* It follows, therefore, 
that all questions as to the adequacy of the law in regard to 
the matter are state questions, and that the city cannot by 
ordinance modify the evident intent of these laws. 

For the enforcement of the laws relating to prostitution, 
so far as the city of Hartford is concerned, responsibility rests 
primarily with the Mayor. This responsibility is somewhat 
limited and qualified by the fact that the Board of Police Com- 
missioners have practical charge of the police force and their 
attitude toward a given body of law is immediately reflected 
in the attitude of patrolmen on the streets. 

The Judge of the Police Court, and his appointee the 
Prosecuting Attorney, are the judicial and legal agents of the 
state. The duties of these three sets of officials are so inter- 
related that to attain reasonable efficiency in law enforcement 
they must work in harmony. This is said with full recognition 
of the legal fact that the Mayor is responsible for the enforce- 
ment of law within the municipality. 

In Hartford, as elsewhere, discretion in the enforcement of 
laws against prostitution has been carried so far as almost to 
nullify these laws. In the face of explicit prohibition of 
prostitution there has grown up a policy of toleration and more 
or less of regulation by municipal authorities. Reasons for a 
course of action approved by almost every police official in the 
land are entitled to a careful consideration. 



* A compendium of Connecticut statutes relating to the social evil 
has been published by the Connecticut Society of Social Hygiene, and 
can be obtained from that society. 

8 



CHAPTER 11. 

THE POLICY OF TOLERATION AND SEGREGATION. 

I. ARGUMENTS FOR TOLERATION AND 
SEGREGATION. 

The chief reasons given by executive city officials for what 
amounts to an arbitrary nullification of many of the laws enacted 
by the state for the suppression of prostitution are as follows : 

A. That when recognized houses of prostitution 
are reduced in number below a certain minimum, fur- 
ther repression does not reduce the evil but causes it to 
spread into other parts of the city. 

B. That such repression results in an increase of 
solicitation on the streets and exposure of our youth to 
temptation otherwise avoided. 

C. That such repression results in an increase of 
seduction and rape. 

D. That if the regular, tolerated houses are sup- 
pressed, such small houses as operate secretly in other 
parts of the city create large opportunity for police 
graft. 

E. That the regular semi-public houses are under 
such control by the police that criminal disorder rarely 
occurs in them ; and that, as a matter of fact, they are 
a considerable help to the police in the detection and 
arrest of criminals. 

F. That by means of a segregated district, with 
the listing of the houses and inmates, an improved 
condition can be maintained with regard to sanitation, 
as those affected with venereal diseases can be tempo- 
rarily isolated, and the transmission of these diseases 
reduced to a minimum. 



II. DISCUSSION OF THE ABOVE ARGUMENTS. 

Argument A. Dissemination of the Evil. Before consider- 
ing the argument advanced by advocates of segregation, that clos- 
ing the houses of prostitution results in spreading the social evil 
throughout the city, let us note that the policy which they favor 
does not limit prostitution to one locality. In other words, com- 
plete segregation has never been possible. The eleven houses 
tolerated by the Hartford police in 191 1 were scattered from 
Commerce and Potter streets to Ferry and State streets. This 
area could perhaps be called a segregated district, although there 
was a great diversity in the character and pursuits of its popula- 
tion. There were, however, a large number of resorts of a some- 
what different character in many other parts of the city. These 
included small apartments, private rented rooms, road houses, 
cafes, restaurants, private dining rooms or booths, hotels both 
great and small, all doing an assignation business for prostitutes 
not residing in the regular houses. Those not in the houses were 
by far the larger number. This is the situation invariably found 
where segregation or regulation is attempted. The Morals Police 
of Paris admit that but a small proportion of the prostitutes of 
that city are under any police surveillance whatever. Similar 
testimony comes from other European cities, and the evidence 
before this Commission points to the same failure to control the 
larger part of prostitution in this city. 

The policy of segregation obviously does not limit the evil 
to one locality. But does the opposed policy, that of closing the 
regulated houses, result in an increase of vice in other parts of 
the city ? The regular houses in Hartford have been closed since 
December 29, 191 1. There is no evidence of a general increase 
of prostitution at other points. Most of the places listed by this 
Commission as being more or less the resorts of vice during the 
past eighteen months are known to have borne the same character 
in years past; and, of sixty-six women known to this Commis- 
sion as prostitutes not in regular houses during these eighteen 
months, all but seven were engaged in prostitution in the same 
manner and in the same places before the order closing the 
houses went into effect. The seven women referred to came 

10 



here after the houses were closed and for reasons in no way 
connected with their closing, as will be more fully shown later.* 
It appears that the inmates of the regular houses are not 
readily interchangeable with those operating as street walkers 
and independent prostitutes. Only three or four of the thirty- 
five women who had been in the tolerated houses have since 
been seen soliciting on the streets. The majority of them have 
left the city. A few attempts to open new houses have been 
made.J These attempts, however, were unsuccessful because 
of the activity of the police. Even during their brief period 
of operation they were hampered to such an extent that our 
investigators had great difficulty in securing introductions 
through which to gain admission. Under a repressive policy 
and meeting great difficulties, such houses have comparatively 
small power for evil, and their meagre financial returns are 
discouraging to those interested. That the total amount of 
prostitution has been decreased in Hartford by the closing of 
the houses is best borne out by remarks made by members of 
the underworld of Hartford while talking to agents of this 
Commission, who were posing as of their own sort. 

January 3, 1913. X23, waiter at AY24, "They are raising hell all 
through the town ; about eight weeks ago they started to clean up ; even 
tried to get something on us ; a girl cannot do anything but try to pick 
them up." 

January 6, 1913. A25, the beer man, "All girls gone or laying low; 
a few left — on the quiet; they raised hell about a year ago after the 
Fusco affair," 

January 6, 1913. A man in C26 saloon, XY street, "This thing won't 
be tied up forever; it will be wide open again before long." 

January 7, 1913. The waiter at A28 restaurant at XY29 street, "They 
have closed everything tighter than hell here. Why, a while ago a girl 
could get a few dollars on the street; but now they are chasing them 

there. Just because some damned w did not keep quiet and 

raised all kinds of hell now they all have to suffer. My hump (girl) 
has not made five dollars since Friday night (Jan. 4th)." 



* Of about one hundred prostitutes at present in Hartford known 
to us by name we have the complete personal histories of sixty-six. 
(See Chapter V.) Sixty- four out of these sixty-six were practicing 
prostitution before the houses were ordered closed. Seven of these 
came to Hartford after the houses were closed. The two girls who are 
known to have become prostitutes since the houses were closed became 
such elsewhere than in Hartford and before coming here, and are included 
in the seven mentioned above. 

t See page 35. 

II 



January 8, 1913. The waiter at C30, "Ten years ago you could make 
all kinds of money. This won't last long; before a year this town will 
be wide open again." 

January 8, 1913. The waiter at Z31, "AB32 has three houses on 
XY33 street and can't get her taxes out of upstairs ; no one will rent 
them." 

January 9, 1913. C34, "People are afraid to rent to women since the 

houses were closed. I have lived here all my life and I never saw things 

as they are now ; a woman ain't safe on the street after seven o'clock 
if she is straight." 

January 10, 1913. Prostitute at AY35, "There are a few places open 
but quiet. There is a girl has a room on XY36 street, who makes more 
money than when she was with AB37. We go to New Haven sometimes. If 
things don't open up next month we are going to Pittsburgh, my friend 
and I ; it is wide open there." 

January 11, 1913. Z40, waiter at Y41, "This Vice Commission started 
about nine months ago and everyone thought it was a bluff. Lately they 
have been getting strangers in and everyone has to be careful. Everybody 
is scared. There are government men in town and everyone has been 
warned to be careful." 

January 11, 1913. B42, street prostitute, "There are a hundred places 
you can get in after you are known, but everyone is scared now." 

January 13, 1913. Girl at Z43, XY44 street, "Madam is doing little 
now owing to the way things are." 

January 20, 1913. A45, (Previously arrested for keeping a house of 
assignation) "My rooms don't pay now. I may leave town." 

January 24, 1913. C46, bartender at B47 saloon, corner of XY48 and 
XY49 street, "A50, who had a place opposite me was shut up over a year 
ago ; his stuff is packed up in the house now. Some tell him that 
Hartford will open up." 

January 24, 1913. C51, "The Mayor appointed a Vice Commission 
and gave them three thousand dollars to get the goods on those fellows 
and women who lay around the East Side. The better class got out 
about a year ago, but it is the foreigner and very tough class that are 
there yet." 

January 28, 1913. Prostitute at the A52 restaurant, "I have not made 
enough to buy a new fine comb extra in three weeks ; even a "bull" * is 
wise as they think that they have got to get wise." 

January 31, 1913. Waiter at Y53, "Things are getting too warm for 
everyone now. The girls will have to hunt new hunting grounds or 
starve." 

* Policeman. 

12 



February 7, 1913. BC54, manicure of ill-repute, "Just now they have 
so many watchers out it is not advisable to go in a crowd — anywhere 
close by." 

February 8, 1913. B55, prostitute, "Business is very poor this week 
and I am afraid it will be worse. The men are afraid of going anywhere 
any more. The waiters at Z56 and X57 are afraid to allow strangers the 
liberties they had been having.'' 

February 13, 1913. A58, beer man for saloon at XY59 street, when 
approached by an investigator for assistance in locating a house of prosti- 
tution which might be bought, "I don't know anything. I have no one 
like that now I sell to." 

We have also a statement of Mr. Hugh M. Alcorn, State's 
Attorney for Hartford County, made at the March, 1913, 
Criminal Term of the Superior Court. 

"It appears from the evidence in this case that the lid is on tight 
here and the authorities in their efforts to make Hartford as clean as 
possible have succeeded. The testimony of these men who stated that 
they were looking for girls and that they traveled around among the 
saloons looking for girls has been that they could not find them." 

In this connection it should be noted that the experience 
of Hartford shows that it is entirely possible to keep the houses 
of prostitution closed, although some superficially informed 
persons in Hartford denied this possibility. Police officials to 
a man have never hesitated to say that regular houses can be 
closed and kept closed. Detective William J. Burns states 
emphatically that this can be done in any city. (N. Y. 
Independent, November 29, 1912, p. 1272.) Former Chief of 
Police Gunn, in reviewing the year from this point of view said 
(December 15, 1912) 'T am not sure that Hartford is any better 
today than it was a year ago but of this much I am convinced, 
that it is no worse. If the people wish these houses closed, 
they shall be closed, and I hope now that they are closed they 
will let us keep them closed as it is much easier for us than a 
constantly changing policy." Our present Chief of Police, 
Garrett J. Farrell, writes (July i, 1913), "I am able to say that 
houses of prostitution do not exist in Hartford at the present 
time; and, with the conditions now in existence, I find it much 
easier to conduct police affairs than I would under the former 
conditions." 



13 



The investigations of this Commission completely corrob- 
orate the statements made by the police that all regular semi- 
public houses of prostitution in Hartford have been closed 
effectively since December 29, 191 1. Have the dire evils pre- 
dicted by some as the certain result of closing the brothels come 
to pass ? 

It is obviously impossible for any body of men to say with 
certainty whether or not the total amount of sexual irregularity 
has been increased or decreased by the experiment of the past 
year, if the term "sexual irregularity" is to be understood as 
including all forms of illicit sexual indulgence; but of one thing 
we are certain, namely, that commercialized vice and prostitution 
have distinctly decreased since the houses were closed. The 
comments of the underworld show this. We know that nearly 
all of the occupants of the former houses left town. We know 
that no corresponding number of prostitutes came to town — in 
fact, it is probable that those who came, came regardless of the 
closing of the houses and would have come anyway. Certainly 
all our evidence indicates this. Furthermore, a woman in a 
regular house can and does serve more patrons than a street 
walker. Again, the closing of the houses served a notice upon 
prostitutes and their kind that has resulted in their being less 
brazen in plying their trade. It was also accompanied by in- 
creased police activity. The very fact that houses have been 
kept closed so long and the police have been active so long has 
gradually been interpreted as showing that the people of 
Hartford mean business. 

Argument B. Street Solicitation. We have no reason to 
believe that there has been an increase in street walking as a 
result of the closing of the houses, although from the nature of 
the subject conclusive statistical evidence is not obtainable. In 
general we get the impression that the supply of prostitutes 
outside the houses has not been materially changed by the closing 
of the houses. The following table of arrests of females shows 
an increase of arrests for street-walking. This increase, how- 
ever, is probably explained by increased police activity and by 
the establishment in 1912 of a special squad for the arrest of 
street-walkers. The figures in the table are too small to be 
conclusive and must be taken for what they are worth. 

14 



FEMALES ARRESTED IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS. 





1908 


1909 


1910 


1911 


191; 


Abortion, 








I 








Adultery, 


8 


5 


3 


2 


5 


Assault, .... 


2 


5 


7 


2 


4 


Assault and Battery, 











I 





Begging, .... 














I 


Breach of Peace, 


21 


45 


48 


48 


75 


Bigamy, .... 





I 





2 





Danger falling into habits of 












vice, .... 


9 


6 


28 


25 


32 


Disorderly Conduct, 


I 





4 


2 





Disorderly House Keeping, . 


8 


10 


I 


4 


7 


Disorderly House Frequenting, 


8 


25 


2 


4 





Drunkenness, 


197 


195 


238 


279 


439 


False Pretense, . 


I 














Forgery, .... 











I 





Fornication, 


4 


5 


6 


9 


20 


Fugitive from Justice, 





I 











House 111 Fame Keeping, 


6 


15 


14 


I 


3 


House 111 Fame Frequenting, 


32 


37 


21 


3 


5 


Incorrigible, 


7 


9 


3 


9 


8 


Improper Conduct, 


2 














Illicit Cohabiting, 


2 














Murder, .... 


I 











I 


Murder of new born babe, 











I 





Neglect of Child, 














4 


Practicing medicine without 












license. 





I 











Prostitutes, 


I 


I 


I 





4 


Runaway Girls, 





7 


6 


6 


5 


Street- Walking, 


3 


3 


14 


10 


24 


Selling Liquor without License, 


I 


3 











Shop Lifting, 


3 


4 


5 








Statutory Offence, 


I 








5 


3 


Suspicion, 











2 


2 


Theft, .... 


20 


35 


19 


27 


27 


Vagrancy, 


I 


5 


7 


6 


5 


Violation of Liquor Law, 








2 


I 






IS 



Violation of Probation, 


o 





o 


o 


8 


Wilful injury to property, 


o 


o 


o 


I 


o 


Carrying Concealed Weapons, 










I 


Lodger, .... 










6 


Demented, 










4 


Neglected, 










I 


Trespass on Railroad, 










I 


Truancy, .... 










I 


Violation of Midwife Law, . 










I 



339 418 430 451 697 

Argument C. Seduction and Rape. Walter H. Clark, 
Judge of the Hartford Police Court, in answer to the question, 
"Have you noticed any increase in crimes of violence, as was 
prophesied?" says, "In reference to the statement that this 
policy (of suppression) would be followed by an increase in 
crimes of violence,* so far as we have been able to determine 
the reverse is true. There has been a decrease in crimes of 
this character. Miss Gauthier J looked up her figures and found 
that during the year 191 1 I was called upon to commit twenty- 
four young women to institutions; last year (1912) I committed 
six only; in 191 1, Miss Gauthier tells me, there were six cases 
of abuse of little girls by men; and last year there were two. 
That is not decisive by any means; those statistics may be 
entirely upset in the next month, though this is improbable. 
Personally I am very much impressed by the figures and believe 
that they fairly represent the improved conditions of the city.'^ 

It is the opinion of the Commission that the present policy 
has been tried long enough to indicate that the argument that 
closing the houses of ill-fame will result in an increase of 
seduction and rape, has no force under the conditions prevailing 
in this city. If the policy had such effects there should be 
some evidence of it after a trial of eighteen months. Such 
evidence as we have ppints the other way. 

Argument D. Police Graft. Such investigations as have 
been made of the influence of the policy of keeping the regular 
houses closed on the morale of the police lend no support to 



* The reference is to Seduction and Rape. 
% Probation Officer. 

16 



the argument that the resuh is an increase of graft. (See 
Vigilance, January, 1913, p. 16). In our investigation in this 
city we have not discovered anything suggestive of a general 
demoralization of the police by petty graft on vice. The evidence 
is that the general discipline of the department has improved 
since a more strict enforcement of law was decided upon. 

In this connection we may state that this Commission realizes 
that the public expected among other things that it would in- 
vestigate the possibility of complicity on the part of the police 
with commercialized vice in this city. We believe we are 
cognizant of most of the rumors of such complicity. However, 
to have passed conclusively on the question of graft would have 
cost this Commission anywhere from fifteen hundred to three 
thousand dollars. We were in a position to press this matter to 
a conclusion several times but could not proceed for want of 
money. A60, the beer man, told one of our investigators that 
if the detective could show himself on the level he, A60, could 
reach B61, a certain police officer. C62 said that X63, her lover, 
bartender at Y64 saloon, XY65 and XY66 streets, could protect 
her; he could fix up any trouble or find someone who could. 
Vv^e have evidence in several instances of derelictions from duty 
on the part of individual officers. We have seen them drinking 
in uniform while on duty; we have seen them overlook the 
manifestations of vice directly within their gaze. Not many 
weeks ago a house in which several prostitutes were doing a 
considerable business was warned by a policeman that the house 
was being watched both by the police and the Vice Commission. 
This was probably true as regards the police, and certainly was 
true as regards the Vice Commission. The woman who ran 
the house was advised to get rid of two of the prostitutes who 
lived there, and she did so. This same policeman had formerly 
removed an inmate of one of the houses on XY67 street the 
night before the place was to be raided, and had sent this girl 
with her baggage to the house spoken of above. For this reason 
he was obligated to the landlady of the house, and he took this 
opportunity to pay the debt. We know of one policeman who, 
we have good reason to believe, was at least formerly financially 
interested in a bawdy house, and who has since then been very 
intimate with a woman who attempted to run a small house 
clandestinely. Nevertheless, from all that we have discovered, 

17 



Hartford has good reason to be proud of her police force as a 
whole. Her streets are well policed; the men mind their own 
business, and almost without exception exercise their functions 
in a very satisfactory manner. 

Argument E. Assistance to the Police. We have not been 
able to find any evidence that the Hartford police ever received 
from the houses of prostitution indispensable aid in the detection 
of crime and the arrest of criminals.* On the other hand there 
is reason to think that the task of the police is increased by the 
disorderly characters attracted to a city through the brothels, 
and that the departure of the prostitute leads to an exodus of 
such criminal characters. 

Argument F. Sanitary. The argument for reglementation 
of the social evil on sanitary grounds hinges on the assumed 
possibility of isolating those affected with contagious forms of 
the venereal diseases from the uncontaminated, at least to a 
reasonably effective degree. This idea rests in turn on the 
erroneous supposition that the negative diagnosis of these 
diseases is comparatively easy for competent physicians. It is 
not generally realized that our knowledge of these diseases has 
been revolutionized within a few years by the discovery of the 
causative organism in each. The cause of gonorrhoea was dis- 
covered in 1879 and not accepted as an established fact until 
1885. The cause of syphilis was not discovered until 1906, 
These diseases are now recognized as belonging to the class of 
chronic disorders and very many conditions formerly ill under- 
stood, and still masquerading under other names, are now known 
to be but the ultimate result of these affections. Furthermore, 
and most important of all, although a positive diagnosis of these 
diseases is a comparatively easy thing, a negative diagnosis, 
giving complete assurance that a given individual is not affected 
by one of these diseases, in a contagious form, is practically 
an impossibility, even when the most complete tests are applied. 
It is absolutely impossible by the ordinary methods of cursory 



* The arrest, as reported in the newspapers, of one Rudolph, a 
dangerous bank robber and murderer, in one of the houses of prostitution 
about ten years ago, has often been cited as an instance of the valuable 
aid given to the police by these houses. It appears, however, from 
authoritative information that Rudolph was tracked to the house by 
detectives and that the detectives and police were given no aid whatever 
by the keeper and inmates of the house in question. 

18 



examination. In former years reputable physicians of Hartford 
regularly inspected the inmates of some of the houses of 
prostitution and gave certificates of freedom from venereal 
disease. This was done on the initiative of the keeper and at 
the expense of the inmates, neither the city nor the police taking 
any part in it. In recent years reputable physicians have not 
made these examinations, chiefly, it seems, because modern 
bacteriology has taught us that such certificates are not worth 
the paper they are written on. 

Against the enforcement of medical examinations of prosti- 
tutes there are the following objections: 

a. As above explained, it is impossible to make a negative 
diagnosis of venereal diseases where the conclusions must be 
reached entirely without the co-operation of the patient. 

b. Even if a negative diagnosis were possible, since prosti- 
tutes are used many times a night such certificate would give 
security only to the first patron; after him such a certificate 
would be worthless. 

c. There is no way for the patron to identify the prostitute 
as the true owner of the certificate. 

d. It is admitted by the Morals Police of Paris, where this 
system has been in vogue perhaps as long as it has anywhere, 
that only one-tenth of the prostitutes of that city are examined. 

e. Forcible examination "without trial by jury" has been 
held to be illegal, to say nothing of its being impracticable, and, 
from a hygienic view point, absurd. 

/. Enforced, or even voluntary, examination of prostitutes 
is practically equivalent to licensing prostitutes ; and any system 
by which the state becomes in any way a partner in vice is re- 
pugnant to the American people. 

g. Medical examination by giving a false idea of security 
to the patrons of the houses of prostitution encourages vice. 

As a matter of fact, medical men now know that practically 
every prostitute is diseased and most of them are capable of 
spreading disease. We therefore believe that a segregated or 
reglemented district, instead of being a safeguard against the 
spread of venereal disease, is, because of its easier access and 
larger number of exposures, the method best adapted to the 
spread of these diseases. 

19 



III. CONCLUSION. 

The foregoing discussion has shown the inconclusiveness of 
the arguments advanced in favor of segregation. There is 
almost nothing to be said for the policy. On the other hand, 
there are strong reasons against its adoption, and reasons which 
are especially cogent for the city of Hartford at the present 
moment. Even if the policy of suppression be regarded as 
only an experiment, to give it up now would be taking a step 
backward. The experiment, if such we may call it, has certainly 
had no evil results. Most of those best qualified to judge affirm 
that it has led to better conditions. In the face of these facts 
a return to the old plan of tolerating houses of ill-fame would 
be a deliberate connivance at an illegal traffic, and would make 
the city an accomplice in commercialized vice. Toleration and 
segregation never had any legal sanction. Moreover they were 
not necessary. The experience of the past eighteen months has 
demonstrated to our municipal authorities the possibility of per- 
forming the duty imposed upon them by the state, a duty to 
which they were bound by their oath of office. There can be, 
therefore, no question as to the obligation of our city govern- 
ment. Finally, as will be shown later in our report, the "white 
slave traffic" is a necessary adjunct of the business of the houses 
of prostitution. Toleration of these houses, therefore, implies 
toleration of this revolting traffic. Once this is understood, 
there is no doubt as to what policy will be demanded by public 
opinion. 



20 



CHAPTER III. 
HISTORY OF PROSTITUTION IN HARTFORD. 

Before December 29, 191 1, there were recognized houses of 
prostitution in this city, existing against the law, but under the 
protection of a long tradition. Thirty years ago these houses 
were very numerous. For the ten years preceding December, 
191 1, there were approximately eleven continuously doing busi- 
ness. They were raided occasionally. On conviction, the 
keepers and inmates were fined. The fines were paid, and the 
houses re-opened on the day the cases were disposed of in the 
police court. The police kept records of the houses and of the 
inmates, claimed the right to enter and did enter the houses at 
will. 

About six years ago some public excitement over the sub- 
ject of prostitution resulted in a change of policy by the police 
judge, so that upon conviction the proprietors and inmates were 
sent to jail instead of being sentenced to pay a fine. This policy 
was maintained by the police court about twelve months, when 
it was learned that the houses had been open and running for 
nearly the whole year. Thereupon without incurring public 
criticism, the police judge reverted to the earlier method of im- 
posing fines instead of jail sentences, having become persuaded 
that the police did not bring in offenders when the penalty 
for the offense was a jail sentence, and that a system of jail 
sentences had no effect upon the traditional policy of toleration 
except to leave the houses more uncontrolled than ever. 

The policy of toleration, extending over a great many years, 
resulted within the last ten years in making the city a recognized 
market for prostitutes. This did not become apparent until 
the so-called white slave traffic became organized in New York 
City and the subject of investigation by the United States 
Government . 

The cities in Connecticut are so close to New York that 
they early felt the operations of the market. The larger cities 

21 



in this state became good places of disposal, especially those 
which had adopted the policy of toleration. Hartford probably 
ranked third in this state as a market for the traffic in women. 
The traffic became so carefully organized that when some con- 
vention was to be held in the city, girls were sent for from New 
York to live in the tolerated houses in order to meet the increased 
demand for their services. They stayed during the convention 
and were promptly returned to headquarters in New York, 
whence they were moved to other places according to the de- 
mand. 

In December, 191 1, a criminal action for extortion was 
brought against a federal detective named Pigniuolo, of New 
York, the complaining witness being the proprietor of a bawdy 
house in Hartford. In the course of the trial the operation of 
this house was brought to light, and the system in part exposed. 
The house was known as a fifty cent house. The trial resulted 
in a disagreement of the jury. The most important consequence 
however was that public attention w^as drawn to the traffic, and 
to prostitution in general. 

This was the situation which produced the Mayor's order 
referred to above, and the eventual organization of a Vice Com- 
mission, upon a resolution of the Court of Common Council 
passed on the recommendation of the Mayor. 

Description of regular houses and existence of genuine traffic 

in girls as they existed in Hartford prior to the 

order of closure, December 2pth, ipii. 

The following much expurgated description is introduced 
in order to show not only the existence here, in the past, of a 
genuine traffic in girls, but also just what it is that the advocates 
of toleration and segregation would re-establish in this city. 

The last week in September, 191 1, three detectives in the 
employ of the United States Department of Justice came to 
Hartford in company with two notorious white slave traders 
of New York City, Morris Cohen, aged 65, and his wife, Lena, 
aged about 32. One of the detectives, a woman, pretended to 
be a madam who wished to buy a house of ill-fame in this city. 
The other two detectives, men unknown to the Cohens, shadowed 
the party. The immediate object was to convict the Cohens of 

22 



sending a girl from New York to this city the day previous, a 
fact which they had learned through the mails. In this they 
were entirely successful. The woman detective had previously 
established herself within these traffickers ; had, in fact, even lived 
with them in New York City. The entire party arrived in Hart- 
ford soon after noon and proceeded to a certain well known 

resort. { ^ ^^ 

The Cohens had been in the habit of furnishing girls for 
this house, as they had for several other houses in this city. 
By pretending that she wished to buy a house of ill-fame here, 
the detective was in hopes that she would be taken around to 
all of the houses to which the Cohens supplied girls until she 
found the particular girl they were after. The girl was then 
to be used in the conviction of the Cohens. This same Cohen 
had had houses on XY68 Street in this city in times past and he 
was fairly well known here, many speaking to him on the street 
as the party passed. 

We quote from the report of the woman detective : 
*'We passed a saloon and a restaurant, and then opened what 
appeared to have been a stable door; up a flight of stairs into 
a low ceilinged room. There was an oilcloth on the floor and 
a cylinder stove in the center of the room; at one side was an 
opening in the wall not as high as a table, supposed to be a 
'get-away' into the next house. A young man sat there, a 
typical tough. He was the 'Checker/ The checker is the man 
who takes the money from the customer before a man can go 
into a room with a girl. The check is given by the customer 
to the girl and she is supposed to turn over the checks to the 
proprietor. 

The girls are paid at the end of the week according to the 
number of checks they turn in. This was the system in this 
particular house." 

In other houses in Hartford the girl was held responsible 
for the money and if for any reason she failed to collect the fee 
from the customer the amount of such fee was charged to her. 
"There were two bedrooms divided by a wooden partition. 
The two beds had no linen on them, just a piece of dark, dirty 
oilcloth; there was a pillow on each with a case on, which was 
the only piece of white on the bed. There were three girls 
there. They appeared to be not more than seventeen. Two of 

23 



the girls were Jewish and the blonde appeared to be an American 
girl. I found practically the same costume in every house I 
visited in Hartford." 

In the high priced houses the same general scheme was 
observed but the bed linen and the costumes of the girls were 
kept scrupulously clean. 

"I asked Cohen if any of these girls belonged to him, mean- 
ing if he had sent them. He said, 'No' ; there were none there 
that belonged to him. This was a fifty cent house; twenty-five 
cents to the girl and twenty- five cents to the proprietor (A69) ; 
the first six dollars went for board, one dollar for the doctor and 
twenty-five cents for gas." 

These girls had their regular hours on duty; and one girl 
frequently accommodated a large number of men in twelve hours. 
The Chicago Vice Commission report says that girls in a house 
of this character average fifteen customers a night. AB70, an 
inmate of CXY71 Street, generally considered the best high 
priced house in Hartford, told one of our investigators that she 
had accommodated twenty-five men in one night. 

"We remained in A69's house about half an hour, during 
which time Cohen showed me the fine points about the place, 
telling me that it was a good business and endeavoring to get 
me to buy it. A69 wanted $1000 for the good will of the place, 
which did not include the house or its furnishings, or the girls ; 
simply the location and reputation. It was what is called 'key 
money'. The cheaper houses have the general reputation of 
being the best money makers." 

"From A69's place Cohen took me to the house at CXY72 
Street, run by AC73. Here the door was barred with iron. 
After passing through the hall we entered the parlor. There 
were three girls seated on a sofa under the window and one girl 
sitting on an adjoining sofa. 

While Cohen and AC73 were outside discussing the price 
of this house, Mrs. Cohen (Lena) turned to a dark haired girl — 
I have forgotten her nafne now — and asked her what she was 
doing there; at the same time she began to swear at the girl 
and the girl swore back at Lena. It seems that Lena Cohen had 
sent her some five months before to another house in Hartford 
and she was very much surprised to find her in AC73*s house. 
AC73 was in disfavor with the Cohens because she had refused 

24 



to allow the girls to pay the Cohens the $2 a week commission 
beyond a certain length of time. For this reason the Cohens 
had ceased to do any more business with AC73. 

If a madam in Hartford wanted a girl from the Cohens 
in New York, she would write to the Cohens to send her a bolt 
of silk, or something of that kind, and she would enclose $5 and 
the railroad fare for the girl from New York to Hartford. The 
girl would then be sent, and of the first money she received, $5 
would be sent to New York and $2 a week as long thereafter 
as she stayed in the house to which she had been sent. 

Lena told me that this was one of her girls. 

'She asked her, ''How do you like it up here?" 'Do you 
make much money?' The girl said, 'I ain't made much yet.' 
Then Lena took her out in the hall, as she afterwards said, 'to 
get some money out of her.' 

I of course found the place unsuitable and wanted to look 
further ; being still in search of the particular girl who had been 
sent to Hartford the day before. 

AC73 gave the girls two meals a day. While we were 
there a tough looking fellow came in and brought them some 
sandwiches, and also brought them the silk with which they were 
doing some cheap embroidery. 

We then went to the house run by BA74, at the corner of 
XY75 and XY76 Streets, a house the good will of which, another 
detective of the Department of Justice had been unable to pur- 
chase a few weeks before for $2,500. This place was in a 
second story over a small store. The store was a blind in which 
practically nothing was sold. The entrance to the second story 
was from XY76 Street. Passing up the stairway we turned 
into the kitchen, and as we turned there was a trap door in the 
floor. The oilcloth was cut to fit it. Underneath the trap door, 
as we learned later, was a ladder going down into the pretended 
store below. The room into which we had come was rather 
small but was very neatly furnished ; much more so than either 
of the two places previously described. In this house there were 
two girls ; one thirty years of age, and the other the girl we were 
searching for. She said she was twenty but she looked much 
younger. I knew she was the girl we were searching for be- 
cause as we entered, Lena said, 'Hello; when did you get here? 
You come by last night? And she said, 'Yes; I got here by 

25 



nine o'clock. Get my fellow to bring me a silk wrapper because 
CA77 (the madam) don't like what I got.' 

"By a subterfuge I was able to get alone with this Rosie, 
the younger girl, and the other inmate. 

I said to Rosie, 'Say Kid, how long you been here?' 

She said, *I came last night by nine o'clock.' 

'Did Lena send you here?' 

'Sure. My fellow went to Lena and got me the place.' 

'Who paid your car fare?' 

'Lena gave me the money but CA77 (the madam) had to 
give it to Lena.' 

Then I turned to this other girl and I said : 

'How long have you been here?' 

'I have been here three months.' 

'Do you like it ?' 

'Yes.' 

'Where did you come from?' 

'From another house around town.' 

For fear of arousing suspicion I could only ask in a general 
way about the business. When CA77 came out of the other 
room she walked over to this trap door and lifted it up; she 
leaned over, drew the ladder back, went down the ladder into 
the store, and brought up a bottle of some kind of crushed fruit 
drink. I talked to her further about selling; but she said she 
was not going to sell ; that CB 78 (her male financial backer) 
wanted her to but she didn't want to. 

These people were arrested the following week; and as 
soon as the principals in Hartford were arrested a telephone 
message was sent to New York and I then entered the Cohens 
home and was arrested with them. 

Those arrested in Hartford turned State's evidence and the 
Cohens were convicted of trafficking in women." 

The three houses above described are fairly typical of the 
eleven houses running in Hartford at the time Mayor Smith 
ordered all such places closed. 



26 



CHAPTER IV. 

PRESENT CONDITIONS. 

I. DESCRIPTION OF DISORDERLY SALOONS, CAFES, 

ETC. AS THEY EXISTED DURING THE 

WINTER OF 1912 AND 1913. 

CX79's SALOON. 

The saloon and so-called ''Ladies and Gent's Dining Room 
and Cafe" at ABXY80 Street which advertised ''Order Cooking 
A Specialty" was patronized a long time chiefly if not ex- 
clusively by prostitutes and by the men seeking them. It 
was notorious as a meeting place for men and women of this 
class. It was dirty; the suggestion that meals were served 
was a blind. Men requested services and women solicited 
openly. Disorder of all sorts was the rule, much of it so vile 
as to be unsuited to this report. The police watched this 
place more or less all the winter but their detectives are well 
known and warning of their approach was given inside; where- 
upon many left and the rest assumed a milder course. We 
know this because one of our investigators was there at the 
time and heard the approach of the detectives announced. 

On January 23, CX79 was convicted in the police court for 
allowing women to loiter in his place and was fined on a plea 
of guilty. On February 13 he was convicted a second time on 
two counts for the same offense and was fined $50 and costs 
on each count on a plea of not guilty. On this second conviction 
CX79 took an appeal to the Superior Court and the case was 
heard at the March 191 3 term, where the previous conviction 
was sustained and he was fined in the same amount. There 
being no appeal taken to the Supreme Court the judgment of the 
Superior Court stands and the license expires. 

BYSi's CAFE. 

The following description of the Cafe and Restaurant run 
in connection with BYSi's is typical of that place for a long time 

27 



past and for most of the past winter. It had rooms on the third 
floor partitioned off and closed with wooden doors. Each room 
is furnished with a heavy table and four chairs. On the second 
floor is a large room around the side of which are arranged 
booths separated by curtains hung over iron poles and reaching 
from about three feet from the ceiling close down to the floor. 
These booths are furnished in the same manner as the rooms 
above. Women have been seen to solicit patrons at CX79's 
saloon and then followed to this cafe. 

On another occasion at CX79's three men were seen to 
solicit three women known to the Commission as prostitutes and 
soliciting daily in CX79's cafe. They were followed over to 
BYSi's Cafe. The party stayed there over an hour and when 
they came out the girls went one way and the men another. 
BYSi's Cafe was habitually used by the prostitutes of all the 
cafes as a place of assignation. 

Different male detectives in our employ took prostitutes 
from the street into these rooms and booths, and learned from 
them that sexual immorality of all sorts was habitually practiced 
by them there.* Seeking advice from the waiter, one of our 
detectives was told to ''Go ahead ; nobody will come near this 
booth while the curtains are drawn" ; the girl said 'T told you 
so; it is done in these booths every day." Three of the other 
booths were occupied at that time and the conversation in one 
corroborated the reputation of the place. Couples entering the 
second floor almost invariably ask the waiter if there are any 
vacancies on the floor above. The upper rooms are preferred 
on account of their greater privacy. 

When two women and two men in one party came in 
together each couple took a separate booth. As soon as a couple 
enters a booth the waiter draws the curtain and retires. He 
can be called by a bell and indicator. He does not come until 
called. On approaching the booth he regularly shuffles his feet 
and then pauses before opening the curtain. 

Drinks are always called for and served. The prices are 
those of a first class hotel but some of the food is poor. Eatables 
are not so frequently requested, but are served if ordered. The 



* The gathering of the evidence in this report did not involve the 
commission of any criminal acts on the part of our investigators. 

28 



things actually seen and heard by our agents in this place, in large 
part not suitable for publication, establish beyond question that 
it is habitually used for immoral purposes. 

The reputation of this cafe is of long standing and is well 
known to the police. The downstairs part of the cafe is 
patronized by respectable parties. The police say that they can- 
not get evidence against a place of this sort. 

On March 7th, 191 3, Chief Farrell said that about five weeks 
ago he had a talk with X82, the proprietor of this place, and told 
him of the use made of his saloon by prostitutes and others. 
X82 denied any knowledge of such conditions and said he did 
not believe it was so. The Chief told him he knew for a fact 
that it was so. X82 asked what could be done to stop it and 
the Chief told him to take the doors off the rooms. This the 
Chief said was done and he believed that the place had been all 
right since. 

About a week later our investigators again entered this cafe 
and found that it was true that the doors had been taken off. 
In their place, however, green curtains were hung, coming right 
down to the floor and resembling the red curtains on the 2nd 
floor. These curtains were all drawn tight and the rooms 
occupied. Our investigators entered this cafe two or three even- 
ings in succession, and aside from the change to the green cur- 
tains the general conduct of the place appeared to be about the 
same as before. 

THE AZ83 RESTAURANT. 

Booths similar to those in BY8i's Cafe are also to be found 
in the AZ83 restaurant CXY84 Street, except that the sides of 
the booths are of board. Couples of the roughest sort have been 
seen going into these booths. Prostitutes frequent the place. 
The waiter is a pimp whose girl was at that time working for 
him in Bridgeport because business was so poor in Hartford. 

THE BX85 CAFE. 

The BX85 Cafe on XY86 Street is another meeting and 
soliciting place much like CX79's. Different investigators in 
our employ have at various times taken prostitutes from the 

29 



streets there and, when going in alone, have been solicited by 
prostitutes coming in there for that purpose. The only sugges- 
tion of stalls there are some high backed benches facing the 
bowling alleys. Many of the girls who frequent this place are 
the same ones that are found almost nightly at CX79's and many 
"Are hustlers from XY87 Street. They work among the 
*ginnies' and don't care what chances they take." The police 
are baffled in their efforts to detect loitering in this cafe by the 
screens which the law allows. 

CY88's CAFE. 

We have many reports from several investigators as to 
specific incidents showing this place as of the same general cate- 
gory as the other disorderly saloons above mentioned. The 
same prostitutes are seen here, the same types and the same 
individuals. Our investigators have seen the women solicit and 
have themselves been solicited while there. The waiter was a 
general information bureau as to personalities and places in the 
underworld of Hartford. One of our women investigators, 
pretending to be a prostitute, was offered all possible aid by this 
man in getting started in the business. The place is dirty and is 
patronized by some who are apparently legitimate customers. 

THE BZ89 RESTAURANT. 

Our information in regard to this place, as in the case of 
all the other places above mentioned, goes back of the time that 
the regular houses of prostitution were closed, and shows it to 
have been of the same character for a long time. It is patronized 
by cheap theatrical people and prostitutes come here to meet the 
actors. Many prostitutes take their meals here and it is said 
to be a regular *'hang out" for pimps. Many respectable people 
also patronize this place. Several unmarried couples live in the 
rooms overhead and these rooms are available for assignation 
purposes. One of our investigators was solicited in the restaur- 
ant by a young girl. She said " *You won't have to register; 
I'll go up first and wait for you at the head of the stairs.' She 
went up stairs to Zqo's Hotel. I followed and found her wait- 
ing; I gave her the three dollars; she went to the Hotel office 

30 



situated in another hall; returned in a few minutes with a key 
and opened room number 6 ; I marked the room for identification, 
made an excuse and left." 

Z90, sister-in-law of the proprietor, is well aware of the 
class of girls who patronize the place. She has charge of the 
waitresses. X91, the housekeeper, meets men for purposes of 
prostitution. Many of the waitresses were prostitutes on the 
side. They are, however, frequently changing their place of 
work and what was true last winter is not necessarily so three 
months later. 

In addition to the above places we may mention certain 
saloons on the East Side frequented by tough and violent charac- 
ters and by prostitutes. 

HOTEL ZX92. 

The Hotel ZX92 has had for a long time the reputation 
of being used as an assignation house. It also has private 
drinking rooms on the second floor apparently in part made over 
from what were formerly bedrooms. The ladies' entrance on 
XY93 Street is the one most used for access to these rooms, but 
the front entrance is also available. The waiter at BYSi's said 
"The ZX92 is the safest place to go in town; you can go there 
any time." Many of the prostitutes of the city have told our 
investigators that they take their men to the ZX92. One said, 
"The best place to go is the ZX92 ; the fellow that runs it stands 
in with the cops." A man told another of our investigators that 
he had used the ZX92 for immoral purposes. Girls from CX79's 
have been seen to take men there. One of our investigators 
took a well known prostitute to these drinking rooms. Regis- 
tration is not requested for the use of these rooms, although they 
are used for immoral purposes in the same way that the private 
dining rooms of BYSi's Cafe are used. The particular room 
assigned on this occasion was a small, square room furnished 
with a plain table and four chairs. The waiter never came until 
summoned. The waiters in all these places can of course be 
influenced by tips and bribes. On Feb. 8th one of our investi- 
gators was warned that the conditions had become more strict 
at this resort and that the help no longer dared to allow the 
liberties that were formerly prevalent. Two days later two of 

31 



our investigators, a man and a woman, went to this place at 
10:35 p.m. They entered the XY93 Street door, passed up a 
flight of stairs and were ushered into room number X94. Here 
there were four chairs, a sort of sideboard, and a table about 
four feet square. A six foot partition separated this room from 
another, two rooms having apparently been made from what was 
originally but one. The conversation of the man and woman 
in the next compartment or room could be distinctly understood 
and made it plain that they were using that room for immoral 
purposes. Our investigators ordered eatables and drinks and 
then attempted to see whether a genuine bedroom could be ob- 
tained without going down stairs to register, as had been re- 
ported possible in the past. This was found impossible but it 
was carefully explained to the clerk by the male detective that 
the woman with him was not his wife and that they wished the 
room for but a short time. The clerk understood and assigned 
to them room number X93. The charge was $1.50. 



YB96 HOTEL, AXY84 STREET. 

YB96 Hotel, AXY84 Street, does a legitimate hotel business, 
but is also largely used as a meeting place by men and women 
for purposes of prostitution, and quite considerably as a house 
of assignation. Unescorted women may frequently be found 
in the drinking and lunch room opening on XY97 Street. 

One of our investigators found a girl standing on the land- 
ing of the stairs waiting for her man to register ; and in answer 
to our investigator's question as to whether the hotel could be 
used for immoral purposes she said, 'Tt is all right to take a 
fellow to a room here. You can get a decent room for two 
bucks. Tell the fellow to be wise; say he has so much, and 
they will let you have it for that. They will soak you if they 
can." Some of the bolder girls go right upstairs in company 
with the man; but as a rule the girl goes upstairs by herself 
and the man joins her after registering. Some of the same 
women have been seen here who frequented CX79. 

Another investigator took B98, a well known street prosti- 
tute, to this hotel at 12 p.m. He registered for himself alone, 
but the clerk insisted that he add the words "and wife" ; although 
the clerk well knew that the woman was a prostitute. A room 

32 



was assigned to them ; he escorted the woman to the room, made 
an excuse, and left her. He reached the main office and while 
sitting there saw another man apparently making the same 
arrangement with the clerk that he had made. In several in- 
stances women known to our investigators as prostitutes have 
told of taking men to this hotel. 

On February 6th, 1913, another of our investigators saw 
three "couples" register and assigned to rooms. All the girls 
were left in the hallway leading past the office to the elevator 
while the men alone registered. The clerk prefers not to see 
the women because he can then claim that he was imposed 
upon ; — ''Never saw the woman, etc." This investigator asked 
the clerk to recommend "some good place." The clerk sug- 
gested "Get something on the street and bring it to your 
room." Men stopping regularly at this hotel can take 
women to their rooms by the payment of a dollar to the clerk ; 
and the clerk will not ask them to register "and wife." This 
investigator was solicited by a girl at BX85 Cafe. He took 
her to YB96 hotel and was assigned a room by the clerk. 

On a rainy afternoon one of our investigators entered the 
wine room of this hotel, where a veritable "carnival of forni- 
cation" was in progress. Eight men and five women w^ere 
smoking, singing and indulging in very, suggestive dances. 
Couples frequently left the room and returned in about half an 
hour, and the remarks made upon such occasions plainly indi- 
cated the nature of their occupation while they were away. 
None of the girls in this room were over twenty. The "fun" 
continued from 4 until 11 p. m. 

We have details concerning other places more or less like 
these above described, but we are content to merely summarize 
them under the various headings in the following pages. 

The Commission has investigated five hotels, in order to 
ascertain the attitude of those in charge toward the use of their 
rooms for assignation purposes. In every instance, with one 
exception, our detective, in taking a girl to these hotels, was 
obliged to register as man and wife. This, however, was only 
a formality, as in every case it was explained to the clerk that 
the woman with the detective was not his wife, and that the 
room was only wanted for a short time. Nevertheless the clerk 
would insist that they register as man and wife, and would 

33 



assign a room under these conditions. The hotels where this 
was done were the ZX.g2 (detailed description in another place) ; 
the XA99, AXYioo street; XBioi ; BX89 on XY102 street. 

The one exception above noted was YB96 Hotel, AXY84 
street. Here it was found that if a man was a regular guest 
of the hotel he was accorded the privilege of taking a girl to his 
room for the night by paying one dollar extra at the desk. 

The hotels investigated were those having a general repu- 
tation as assignation houses ; and there are, without doubt, many 
others where similar conditions prevail. 



HOUSES OF PROSTITUTION SINCE THE 
ORDER OF CLOSURE. 

Since the regular tolerated houses were closed attempts have 
been made in several instances to open small houses clandes- 
tinely. 

One such place (it could hardly be called a house of pros- 
titution) was started over the saloon at the corner of XY103 
and XY104 streets. The Commission notified the police of the 
fact and the police immediately took steps to close it. 

On November 29th, 191 2, an agent of the Commission was 
in a house run by AB105, alias CA106, at AXY107 street, and 
obtained conclusive evidence that she was keeping one girl at 
that place for purposes of prostitution. This was not reported 
to the police by the Commission, but it was discovered and raided 
by the police independently on January 25th, 191 3. This woman 
was sentenced to thirty days in jail for running a disorderly 
house and this sentence was sustained on appeal to the higher 
court. 

The place kept by AB108 at AXYioo street was visited by 
an agent of the Commission, who talked with AB108 and a girl 
who was undoubtedly kept there for purposes of prostitution. 
We were not able, however, to obtain conclusive evidence of this 
fact. AB108 is generally reputed to perform abortions with 
considerable frequency, in addition to running a disorderly house 
on a small scale. 

An Italian named A109 started a house at AXYiio street 
with two Italian women who had apparently been imported for 

34 



immoral purposes. He was arrested and the evidence in court 
indicated that the place had been running about two weeks when 
raided. It was said that as many as sixty frequenters had been 
counted going into this place in one day. A 109 had a consider- 
able amount of money on his person when arrested, and the girls 
almost nothing. He was fined $50 by Judge Steele. It is said 
that he soon after left the city and went to Boston, taking the 
two girls with him. 

On March 21st the police raided an alleged house of ill- 
fame in the rear of AXYiii street. The next morning XC112, 
the proprietress, was sentenced in the police court to sixty days 
in jail. XC113, an inmate with a record, was sent to jail for 
thirty days, while YC114, the other woman who was in the house, 
was allowed to go. Two frequenters were fined $7. each. 

The police have made other raids recently. The proprietor 
of one house, ZA115, was sentenced to jail for six months; and 
the proprietor of another, XY116, with a record of a similar 
offence in New York, received a jail sentence of ninety days. 
Two inmates of the latter place were sent to jail for ten days 
each; and four male frequenters were each fined $7. and costs. 

We have some evidence, though not of a conclusive charac- 
ter, that two other houses are being run clandestinely at the 
present time.* 

The police have made laudable eflforts to clean up some of 
the worst assignation rooming houses ; and the Commission has 
evidence that some of these places have not been able to resume 
their former practices owing to fear of the police. 

All public bawdy houses, have been closed in Hartford since 
December 29th, 191 1. This has not been a theoretical closure 
but a real one, and considering the length of time involved is 
unique in Hartford, and, we believe, almost so for any American 
city. Of the eleven houses closed on the above date three have 
been torn down and are represented today by vacant lots ; five 
have been vacated by their former tenants and are now inhabited 
by law-abiding people; three are still held by their former 
tenants, the house furnishings are still in place and the Com- 
mission has ample evidence to support the view that they are still 



* Since the above was written one of these places was raided by the 
police. 

35 



confidently awaiting the ebb tide in public pressure to open up 
again and go on as before. The following remarks by the 
underworld bear this out. 

January 6th, 1913. X118, the beer man, *'CB78, who used 
to keep AXY84 street, would like to open again, but the **cops" 
watch him close; he cannot." 

January 6th, 1913. A man at Y119 saloon, AXY20 street, 
"This thing won't be tied up forever; it will be wide open again 
before long." 

January 8th, 1913. Waiter at BY81 Cafe, 'The judge is 
elected by the legislature. Before a year this town will be wide 
open again. They will all flock back as soon as the new judge 
is elected." 

January loth, 1913. Street prostitute at CX79 Restaurant, 
''If things don't open up next month my friend and I are going 
to Pittsburg." 

January 13th, 191 3. An investigator heard from prostitutes 
in A 12 1 Theatre that "CX122, (former keeper of a house of 
prostitution here), is coming back if things settle." 

January 15th, 1913. BA117, former keeper of house of 
assignation, "Wait till things get settled after this coming election. 
They see they have made a mistake, and it will be changed. 
They are losing money. My friend says they are going to 
oust the judge and the prosecuting attorney. Things will hum 
again. I hear these things from the boys. Everybody is 
anxious to have the sports back again. They didn't bother any- 
one but gave money to the town." 

Later reports seem to indicate a less hopeful spirit on the 
part of the underworld. 

RAILROAD STATION. 

The railroad station is used to a very large degree as a 
meeting place and a place of solicitation by women of the street. 
Nine prostitutes were on one occasion seen there at one time; 
on another occasion five; on February ist, three; eleven were 
counted between 9 and 9:30 p.m. on February nth, the week 
of the Automobile Show. 

The station seems to be a rendezvous for girls not depending 

36 



solely on prostitution for a living. The older women are on the 
lookout for drunks. 

II. EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES. 

We have investigated seven employment agencies to see 
whether or not they were willing to furnish a girl for service in 
a house of ill-fame. It was plainly stated to these agencies 
what the character of the house was in which the girl was 
wanted, and in some instances it was even hinted that the girl 
might earn money on the side as a prostitute herself. Three 
employment agencies were perfectly willing to furnish a girl 
under these circumstances. The others refused, some of them 
indignantly. 

III. PIMPS IN HARTFORD. 

Pimps, the male companions of prostitutes, who live on 
their wages and pretend to be in love with them, are almost 
universally associated with the prostitutes in the houses. Such 
association is also exceedingly common with prostitutes of the 
street walking type. Our investigators, who were in CX79's 
nearly every night for some time, reported that the prostitutes 
there would frequently come in accompanied by their pimps, 
that the pimps would sit down at a table, open a newspaper and 
begin to read, or would converse among themselves, while the 
women who had come in with them would immediately start 
soliciting among the other customers. The BZ89 restaurant on 
XY131 street seems to be the headquarters for the pimps in 
Hartford; messages are frequently left there by the prostitutes 
for their pimps in the event of the prostitute having an engage- 
ment for the night with another man. 

IV. MALE PROSTITUTES. 

Sexual perversion of various sorts is practiced extensively 
m Hartford. There are various reasons for this, but in the 
worst forms the careful observer must come to the conclusion 
that it represents some form of mental aberration. The most 
disgusting and repulsive form in which it manifests itself is in 
the male prostitute, who not only takes the place of the prosti- 
tute in fact, but even impersonates or resembles a female in his 

j7 



mannerisms, voice and conversation. Their practices are too 
revolting for discussion in this report. 

We have the names, and in some instances the life histories 
of men practicing sexual perversion among themselves. Four 
of these are men of wealth and social standing. 

V. VENEREAL DISEASE IN HARTFORD. 

There are no authentic figures as to the amount of venereal 
disease existing in the city of Hartford. In general, statements 
in regard to this must be guess-work, and one man's guess is 
probably about as good as another's. The only reliable figures 
on venereal morbidity are those of the army and navy, but it 
is not legitimate to draw conclusions from these as to the preva- 
lence of venereal disease in civil life. Many of the statements 
commonly made are manifestly exaggerated, although there is 
no doubt that conditions are bad. Physicians generally are well 
acquainted with men and women suffering throughout their 
lives because of the indiscretions of youth. Sometimes the 
fault is their own ; often it is that of another. 

Venereal diseases are rarely spoken of between doctors and 
laymen by their right names except in their early stages. No 
good could possibly come by telling a wife that her enfeebled 
health since marriage was due to a venereal disease contracted 
by her husband perhaps years prior to their marriage, or that 
the same is the probable reason that their marriage has been 
childless. There is trouble enough in the world without adding 
more. Many of these conditions hide behind a name that de- 
scribes the pathology but not the source, and such a name is 
usually satisfactory to the layman. These diseases are frequently 
at the bottom of bladder troubles, diseases peculiar to the female, 
serious nervous disorders, paralyses and insanities, especially 
those of middle life. They are frequently the prime cause of 
premature arterio-sclerosis and the heart affections incident to 
analagous changes. Many eye affections are due to them, and 
occasionally total deafness. They are the most common cause 
of still birth where such occurs near full term. 

The following tables are made up from the catalogue of the 
Hartford Hospital for the year ending September 30, 191 1 ; and 
they represent nothing more than a reasonable estimate. 

38 



ESTIMATE OF VENEREAL DISEASE ADMITTED TO 

THE HARTFORD HOSPITAL FOR THE YEAR 

ENDING SEPT. 30, 191 1. 



Diseases admitted. 






Number estimated 


capable of a venereal 


Male 


Female 


as actually having 


explanation 






a venereal origrin 


Angina pectoris 


2 






Arterio-sclerosis 


10 


3 


2 


Endarteritis obliterans 




I 




Acute endocarditis . 


I 


3 


I 


Chronic endocarditis 


. 42 


28 


10 


Mitral stenosis 


2 


I 




Myocarditis, acute . 


I 


2 




Myocarditis, chronic 


7 


7 




Pericarditis 




I 




Arthritis hypertrophic 


4 


I 


I 


Rheumatism . 


6 


3 


I 


Infectious arthritis . 


9 


5 




Meningitis, cerebro-spinal . 


3 


I 




Pyaemia 


I 






Rheumatic fever, acute 


II 


5 




Rheumatism gonorrhoea! . 


4 


2 


6 


Septicaemia . . . . 


6 


2 


.5 


Syphilis . . . . 


33 


14 


47 


Nephritis, acute 


3 


8 


I 


Nephritis, chronic . 


13 


8 


I 


Pyelitis 




I 




Cerebral hemorrhage 


10 


8 


2 


Epilepsy . , . ■ 


18 


5 


15 


Hemiplegia 


5 


3 


I 


Locomotor ataxia 


5 




4-5 


Neurasthenia 


24 


34 


5 


Paraplegia . . . . 


I 


I 


I 


Progressive muscular dystroph} 


r I 






Secondary spastic paralysis 


I 






Tic douloureux 


3 


4 


I 


Abortion, incomplete 




12 


2 


Abortion, threatened 




I 




Miscarriage 




37 


9 


Puerperal septicaemia 




4 


I 



39 



Tumor of brain 


I 


2 


.5 


Iritis .... 


3 


2 


I 


Keratitis 


8 * 


6 


7 


Ophthalmia, gonorrhoea! . 


4 


I 


5 


Optic atrophy 


2 




I 


Tinnitus aurium 


I 






Ulcer of septum 


I 






Spondilitis deformans 


2 






Abdominal adhesions 


5 


7 


2 


Peritonitis, general 


II 


3 


I 


Cellulitis, pelvic 




17 


9-3 


Endometritis . . . , 




68 


22 


Ovary, cyst of . . , 




20 


1.5 


Salpingitis . . . , 




34 


24 


Ulcer of the vulva . 




3 


2 


Vaginismus . . . , 




I 




Vaginitis, gonorrhoea! 




4 


4 


Abscess of scrotum 


I 






Abscess of urethra 


I 




I 


Adenitis, inguinal 


5 




3 


Calculus, vesicle 


4 




I 


Chancroids . . . . 


2 


I 


3 


Cystitis, acute 


3 


4 


3 


Cystitis, chronic 


3 


4 


2 


Epididymitis . . . , 


i6 




14 


Gonorrhoea, acute . 


15 


4 


19 


Gonorrhoea, chronic 


17 


I 


18 


Haematuria . . . . 


2 






Hydrocele . . . . 


2 






Orchitis . . . . . 


9 




7 


Stricture of urethra 


5 




4-5 


Urine, retention of 


6 




5 


Periostitis of tibia . 


4 




I 


Varicose ulcer of leg 


7 


4 


I 


Conjunctivitis gonorrhoea! 




I 


I 


Keratitis . . . . 


2 




2 


Laryngitis, syphilitic 




I 


I 


Optic neuritis 


2 




I 


Pharyngitis, syphilitic 


I 


I 


2 




383 


394 


286.8 



40 



NOTES: 



Total admissions to hospital for year . 

Total possible of a venereal interpretation . 

Total estimated as actually of venereal origin 286.8 
which is 5.5% of total admissions. 

All are separate patients. 

Classification is that of the catalogue. 

Estimate of venereal origin is an average of esti- 
mates separately made by one pathologist, one 
gynaecologist and one surgeon. 



5,195 

777 



ESTIMATE OF VENEREAL DISEASE AS A CAUSE 

OF OPERATIONS AT THE HARTFORD HOSPITAL FOR 

THE YEAR ENDING SEPT. 30, 191 1. 



Operations possibly 
necessitated by 
venereal disease 



Enucleation of eye . 
Injection of 5th nerve 
Tic Douloureaux 
Trephination . 
Cystotomy, suprapubic 
Drainage of abdominal cavity 
Laparotomy, exploratory . 
Amputation of cervix 
Breaking up abdominal adhesions 
Cauterization of cervix 
Coeliotomy for abdominal preg 

nancy 
Curettage 

Excision of broad ligament cyst 
Excision of ovarian cyst . 
Hysterectomy 
Oophorectomy 
Salpingectomy, double 
Salpingectomy, single 
Circumcision . 
Epidydimectomy 
Incision of buboes . 









Number estimated 




Male 


Female 


as actually having a 
venereal origin 




8 


3 


I 




9 


3 


I 




I 








4 


2 


I 




3 








7 


5" 


I' 




25 


21" 


I' 






18 


2 


s 




i" 








2 


I 






4" 


V 






182 


55 


.t 




2" 








3" 








25" 


.5 






32" 








13" 


10' 






26" 


20' 




17 




I 




2 








4 




4 



41 



Orchidectomy 

Hydrocele, radical cure 

Suprapubic lithotomy 

Urethrotomy, external 

Urethrotomy, internal 

Cystoscopy 

Curettage of tibia 

Salvarsan, intravenous injection 



8 

12 
I 

9 

I 

26 

17 
15 



14 
I 

7 



I 
3 

8 
I 

10 
I 

22 



169 364 



145.5 



2,447 
533 

145-5 

1,372 
354 

132 
33 



Total number of operations for the year 

Total number capable of a venereal explanation 

Number estimated as actually due to a venereal cause 
Which is 5.9% of total number of operations. 

Total number of operations on females for year 

Abdominal operations on females .... 

Abdominal operations on females capable of a 
venereal explanation marked (") in table . 

Number estimated to have actually been of venereal 
origin marked (') in table .... 

Which is 9.3% of the abdominal operations on women. 

Independent of any knowledge of the results obtained in 
the above tables, the City Physician, by request, made an attempt 
to ascertain the degree to which venereal disease figured as a 
cause of sickness in The City Hospital. He carefully reviewed 
the histories of 1000 consecutive patients in that institution and 
reported that in his opinion the illness of 50 or exactly 5% 
could fairly be attributed to these sources. This corresponds 
in a remarkable way with the estimate of 5.5% obtained from 
the other table. We are justified in saying therefore that 5% of 
serious illness in this city may fairly be attributed to venereal 
disease as its ultimate cause. 

In March, 1892 gonarrhoeal inflamation of the eye in infants 
was made a disease reportable by midwives in this city. Phy- 
sicians have been requested to report these diseases since 1909. 
Two cases of this disease were reported in 1905 ; two in 19 10, 
one in 1912 — five altogether. "In Connecticut, since 1893, about 
25% of the children who have come under the direction of the 



42 



Board of Education of the Blind have lost their sight from 
ophthalmia neonatorum." According to the best authorities, at 
least two-thirds of these cases should be attributed to gonorrhoea 
of the parent. It is estimated that about 7% of all blindness is 
due to venereal disease.* 

Many have favored a law that would compel the use of 
nitrate of silver in the eyes of all new born babies. We recog- 
nize the efficiency of this treatment to prevent gonorrhoeal 
ophthalmia, but do not advocate legislation making it compulsory. 

VI. ILLEGITIMATE BIRTHS. 

The following data in regard to illegitimate births in Hart- 
ford may be of interest, although, in our opinion, they are not 
sufficiently extensive to warrant any conclusions in regard to 
increase or decrease of immorality in this city. 

Year. Illegitimate Births. 



1904 












27 




1905 
1906 












. 45 
48 




1907 
1908 
1909 












' 42 

. 38 
46 




1910 
1911 












. 47 
. 66 




1912 












. 59 




Total in ten years 459. 




In 280 of these cases the mothers were of native birth ; 


in 


174 of foreign birth, 


and 


in 5 c 


)f unl 


mown 


birth 


I. 





* From data furnished by the State Board of Education of the Blmd, 

43 



CHAPTER V. 
STUDY OF HARTFORD PROSTITUTES. 

For the purpose of obtaining the personal histories of pros- 
titutes now engaged in practicing their profession in Hartford, 
the Commission obtained the services of a trained woman in- 
vestigator. This investigator came with high recommendations 
from her former employers. She has been engaged in this and 
similar occupations for eleven years. Part of this time she was 
following the white slave cases for the United States Govern- 
ment, part of the time working for a well known reformatory 
for women, and a large part of the time studying vice conditions 
in various cities of the United States for vice commissions and 
allied bodies. Her work had formerly taken her into several 
Connecticut cities, including Hartford, so that she was not an 
entire stranger to local conditions. This woman has a large 
acquaintance with prostitutes and those engaged in the business 
of prostitution throughout the country. In her work in Hartford 
and in other places she was checked up from time to time by 
independent investigators, unknown of course to her. She has 
never been found wanting in honesty, accuracy or other re- 
quirements for her work; so that on the whole the Commission 
feels warranted in saying that her statements can be faithfully 
relied upon. For many weeks this woman lived on terms of 
intimacy and equality with those among whom she was working. 
She was never suspected by them of being an investigator so far 
as we can find out. She was regarded as a friend and one of 
their own kind. For this reason we feel that the histories 
present accurate, first-hand information on the subject in hand. 

During the time this investigator was employed by this 
Commission she obtained the histories of sixty-six women who 
were earning their living in whole or in part by practicing pros- 
titution in Hartford. These histories were all reported in writing 
and sworn to by the investigator. 

We were unable to form any accurate estimate as to the 
number of prostitutes actually practicing their trade in Hartford. 

44 



Our estimate would be about 200. On this basis it would seem 
that our knowledge of the histories of sixty-six would present 
a fair means of judging as to the entire number. 

I. ANALYSIS OF STATISTICAL DATA. 

Birthplace. Twenty- four were born in Hartford; sixteen 
were born in Connecticut outside of Hartford. Four of this 
sixteen were born in the larger cities. Nineteen were born in 
this country outside of Connecticut. In all, therefore, fifty-nine 
were born in this country. Twelve of these were born in 
Massachusetts, five in New York, one each in Pennsylvania and 
Vermont. Two each were born in Germany, Italy and Russia, 
and one in Scotland. 

From the above it will appear that 89% of those investigated 
were born in this country; 60% in Connecticut; and 36% in 
Hartford. 

The striking features of these data are the small percentage 
of foreign born girls ; the large percentage of Connecticut and 
Hartford born girls ; and the large number of girls coming from 
Massachusetts as compared with those coming from New York. 

Age. Naturally some question will be raised as to the 
accuracy of figures in regard to age. They are given exactly 
as stated by the girls themselves in the following table. When- 
ever our investigator considered that the appearance of the girl 
belied her statement as to her age, that fact was noted. In two 
cases the girl appeared to be younger than the age given; in 
one case she appeared to be older. 



Age 


No. 


Age 


No 


19 


I 


28 


4 


20 


5 


29 


4 


21 


2 


30 


2 


22 


7 


34 




23 


12 


35 




24 


13 


36 . 




25 


3 


45 




26 


6 


50 




27 


2 







61 out of 66 are 30 years of age or less. 
43 out of 66 are 25 years of age or less. 



45 



The nineteen year old prostitute has been a prostitute ever 
since she was fifteen years of age. 

How Long a Prostitute? Six girls refused to give informa- 
tion as to how long they had been prostitutes. Twelve girls did 
not state definitely but made use of some expression that signified 
that they had been in the business for a long time. The follow- 
ing table gives the data as to the remaining forty-eight. 



I year 


2 


6 years 


7 


2 years 


7 


7 years 


2 


3 years 


7 


8 years 


3 


4 years 


12 


9 years 


I 


5 years 


6 


lo years 


I 



The table shows only two girls who became prostitutes since 
the houses were ordered closed in Hartford. One of these 
girls is now twenty years of age. She was seduced at school by 
the janitor. She had served eighteen months at Wethersfield 
and claims to have learned enough in prison to ''fill a book." 
The other girl is twenty-four years old. She came to Hartford 
less than a year ago to escape from her husband, who was 
brutally forcing her to unnatural practices to avoid children. 
She came here with a man who had been her lover before she 
was married. He drank and beat her. She finally drifted onto 
the streets because, she says, she was afraid to go anywhere else. 

It has been stated that on the average a woman cannot live 
the life of a prostitute for more than five to seven years. It is 
to be noted that out of the forty-eight concerning whom we have 
exact information only five have been in the business more than 
seven years. Thirty-four out of the forty-eight, or about 71%, 
have been in the life for five years or less. 

How Long a Prostitute in Hartford? Our investigator was 
unable to obtain any information on this subject from five out of 
the sixty-six. Five other girls gave no exact information, but 
it is known that they have been practicing prostitution in Hartford 
for some time. One girl who had been a prostitute for four 
years came to Hartford and married six months ago. Since 

46 



her marriage she has been straight. The following table gives 
the data as to the remaining fifty-five. 



3 weeks . 


I 


3 years 


7 


3 months 


I 


4 years 


lO 


6 months 


I 


5 years 


9 


9 months 


I 


6 years 


5 


I year 


3 


7 years 


I 


ij^ years 


I 


8 years 


2 


2 years 


13 







Taking into consideration the times when these histories 
were obtained it appears that only seven out of the sixty-six 
began practicing prostitution in Hartford after the houses of 
prostitution were closed. An examination of these seven cases 
shows that the closing of the houses in no way served as a con- 
tributing factor. The girl who is listed as having practiced 
prostitution in Hartford only three weeks has been a prostitute 
for several years. She was born and lived in a neighboring town. 
Her pimp persuaded her to come to Hartford some time ago to 
solicit, eventually bringing her here to live. The girl who has 
been here three months was a member of a vaudeville team, and 
is subject to periodical attacks of drinking. In one of these she 
abandoned her team, but as soon as she straightens out expects 
to leave Hartford to start her regular work once more. The 
next girl has also been a prostitute for several years. She came 
to town with a man who had been a friend of a girl with whom 
she had lived. The history of the girl who came to Hartford 
nine months ago has already been given. She ran away from 
a brutal husband with a man who had been her lover before she 
married. The histories of the three girls who have been here 
one year are as follows. One girl ran away from home because 
her stepmother beat her. Her mother died when she was 
small. Her father died after contracting a second marriage. 
After he died things grew steadily worse so that she could stand 
it no longer. She has been a prostitute three years, although 
she is now only twenty-four years old. A second girl has been 
a prostitute for a long time, and appears to have just drifted here. 
She had been engaged to a man for ten years, who kept putting 
her off on the plea that he could not marry while his mother 
lived. When the mother died the girl found out that the man 



47 



had been married for four years. Feeling desperate she began 
drinking, and finally became a prostitute. The history of the 
third girl has already been referred to. She is the one who 
served her time in Wethersfield, and was brought to Hartford 
by her pimp. 

These sixty-six girls are of all kinds : some solicited on the 
streets, some in cafes ; some were very common, others more 
exclusive; yet only seven started their trade in Hartford after 
the closing of the houses ; and the coming of these seven 
appeared to be in no way connected with the closing of the 
houses. It is to be especially noted that no Hartford born girl 
is among the seven. 

How Long in Hartford? Twenty-four of the sixty-six were 
born in Hartford. As to four no exact information was ob- 
tainable but they are known to have lived here for a long time. 
The data as to the length of residence in Hartford of the re- 
maining thirty-eight are as follows : 



3 weeks . 


I 


3 years 


5 


3 months 


I 


4 years 


3 


6 months 


I 


5 years 


5 


9 months 


I 


6 years 


2 


I year 


3 


7 years 


I 


ij^ years 


I 


9 years 


I 


2 years 


6 


lo years 


2 



Three girls, living in neighboring towns, came to Hartford 
frequently to solicit, and have been doing so for some time. 
Two girls, now living in Hartford and practicing prostitution 
here, formerly came to Hartford frequently to solicit. 

Cause of Coming to Hartford. Again one must deduct the 
twenty-four who were born here. The statistics as to the re- 
maining forty-two are as follows : Nine came to work ; eight 
were brought here by men ; seven simply say that they came 
here to live; six were brought here by their husbands; three 
came with their family; three living in neighboring towns came 
here to solicit; two ran away from home; one came here to be 
kept; one left her vaudeville team to go on a spree; one came 
with a girl friend; one ran away from a cruel husband. 

Where They Solicit. One of the questions to which our 
investigator endeavored to obtain answers was as to where the 

4S 



various girls solicited. As to fifteen she was unable to obtain 
any information. The others mentioned one, two and three 
places. Some of the girls unquestionably solicit in places other 
than those mentioned, but on the whole the data give some idea 
of how this business is conducted. 
24 on Main street. 

9 at BX85 Restaurant. 

8 at XA132 Theatre. 

8 on Asylum street. 

7 on Front street 

5 at Railroad Station. 
5 at CY88's Restaurant. 

4 at CX79's Cafe. 
3 on Market street. 
3 on State street. 

2 at Automobile Show. 
2 at BZ89 Restaurant. 
2 at C133 Cafe. 
2 at B134 Theatre. 
I at X135 Theatre. 
I at Yi36's Theatre. 

1 at Zi37's Restaurant. 

From evidence other than the above statements we judge 
that solicitation is most prevalent at three theatres and two 
restaurants. 

Where They Take Patrons. The comment made under the 
title "Where They Solicit" applies equally here. We have no 
information from thirty-four girls. The following table gives 
the data as to the remainder: 

1 1 ZX92 Hotel. 

8 ZB137 Hotel. 
7 Own room. 

5 YB96's Hotel. 

2 BY8i's Cafe. 
2 Friend's room. 

I Room over BX85 Restaurant. 

I House on XY138 street. 

I House on XY139 street. 

I AZ140 Hotel. 

I BY141 Hotel (New Britain). 

49 



Our other investigations show the worst conditions to exist, 
apart from rooming houses, in three hotels and one cafe. 

Committed to Institution. Fifty-one girls claim that they 
have never been committed to an institution of any kind. The 
statement of one of these is doubted by our investigator. Two 
gave no information; one was arrested in Springfield for theft 
which she avers she dicj not commit ; one admitted she had been 
arrested twice in New York city for soliciting on the street ; 
one was fined for drunkenness ; one says that she was arrested 
three times in New Haven; one says that she was arrested once 
for being drunk; one served eighteen months in Wethersfield ; 
one states that her mother put her away until she was twenty- 
one years old ; one went to a sanatarium to be treated for 
drinking; the mother of another put her away v/hen she was 
sixteen years old ; one girl stated that her mother tried to put 
her away but failed ; another was put by her mother in a rescue 
home in New York when she was thirteen years old, and she 
stayed in the home for two years ; one girl admits having been 
arrested for fighting with a girl ; another girl states that she 
was arrested and fined for soliciting in Hartford. 

The noteworthy thing about these figures is that fifty out 
of sixty-six girls have practiced prostitution for the various 
number of years shown without having come into contact with 
the law during all that time. 

Education. Thirty-five can read and write; twenty-two 
can read and write a little ; two say that they can read and can 
write a little ; two that they can write and can read a little ; one 
says she can read a very little ''American" and can write a little; 
one that she can read and write no English; one that she can 
read and write Italian but not English ; one that she cannot read 
but can write a little; one that she can neither read or write. 

Age of First Sexual Offence. Our investigator was unable 
to obtain information from fourteen girls, but we know that one 
of these was an inmate' of a regular house of prostitution at 
sixteen years of age; fourteen girls made some such remark as 
'While young", "When I was a kid", "At School", etc. As to 
one of these, we know from other facts that her first sexual 
oflfence was before she was sixteen years of age; as to another 
we know that she was an inmate of A69's house at sixteen years 

50 



of age. The following table gives the data as to the remaining 
thirty-eight girls : 



At 13 years 


I 


At 21 years 


2 


14 years 


3 


22 years 


5 


15 years 


3 


23 years 


2 


16 years 


5 


24 years 


3 


17 years 


I 


25 years 


I 


18 years 


6 


26 years 


2 


20 years 


2 


27 years 


2 



If we add the three girls who were prostitutes at the age 
of sixteen on the assumption that their first offence was com- 
mitted at an earlier age, and the one girl included in the "When 
young" class, who we know fell before sixteen years of age, ten 
girls committed their first sexual offence before they were six- 
teen years of age, which is the age of consent in this state. In 
other words, under our Connecticut laws they were raped. If 
we add the twelve not yet counted in who said, "When young" 
or its equivalent, as having committed their first sexual offence 
before eighteen years of age, which seems a wholly reasonable 
thing to do, we find that twenty-eight committed their first sexual 
offence before they were eighteen years of age; while thirty-six 
out of the fifty-three concerning whom we have some informa- 
tion committed their first sexual offence before they were twenty- 
one years of age. The general tendency of modern legislation 
is to place the age of consent at eighteen years. On this basis 
fifty-three per cent, of the Hartford prostitutes concerning whom 
we have information on this point would have been regarded as 
being raped at the commission of their first sexual offence. 

Some of the girls who gave a comparatively high age as 
the time of the commission of their first sexual offence were 
girls who had been married, but for whom, for various reasons, 
marriage had been a failure. 

Partner of First Sexual Offence. Concerning six girls we 
have no information. The table gives the data as to sixty: 

Acquaintance, ...... 25 



Stranger 
Sweetheart 
Cousin 
Brother 



22 

4 

3 
I 



51 



Uncle ........ I 

Relative by marriage ..... i 

Friend of family ...... i 

Employer ....... 2 

These figures, taken into consideration with those relating 
to the age at which the first offence was committed, show in a 
startling way the necessity for additional protection for young 
girls. When twenty-two young girls commit their first sexual 
offence with a stranger it must show woeful ignorance and lack 
of protection by family and law. 

Age When First Prostituted Herself for Pay. From nine 
girls our investigator was unable to obtain any information ; nine 
other girls answered ''When young" or its equivalent; one girl 
said she did not prostitute herself for pay until she was twenty- 
one years of age, but that she was an inmate of A69's house at 
sixteen. Taken into consideration with other facts we assume 
that her reply indicates that she did not receive pay herself until 
twenty-one, but of course she was a prostitute for pay at sixteen 
years of age, and is so treated. The table as to the forty-eight 
girls concerning whom we have exact knowledge is as follows : 



15 years 


I 


22 years 


4 


16 years 


II 


23 years 


3 


17 years 


2 


24 years 


3 


18 years 


8 


25 years 


I 


19 years 


3 


26 years 


3 


20 years 


I 


2"/ years 


2 


21 years 


5 


32 years 


I 



From this table it appears that twenty-two girls became 
prostitutes at eighteen years of age or younger. To these we 
may safely add the nine who answered "When young" or its 
equivalent. This makes thirty-one out of fifty-seven, or practi- 
cally 55%, who became prostitutes at eighteen years of age or 
younger. Only seven, or about 12%, became prostitutes after 
reaching twenty-five years of age. 

Has She Practiced Prostitution Continuously Since? We 
have no information as to two girls ; sixty-three out of sixty- 
four have practiced prostitution continuously ever since they first 
prostituted themselves for pay. The sixty-fourth girl came to 
Hartford and married six months ago. Since her marriage she 

52 



im 



has been straight, but she still associates with the prostitute class 
and states that she will return to the life as soon as her husband 
fails to provide for her. 

Perversion. Fourteen of the sixty-six girls admit that they 
use perverted sexual practices with men for pay. 

Weekly Earnings from Prostitution. Our investigator en- 
deavored to ascertain the highest and lowest amounts obtained 
weekly by the sixty-six prostitutes. Eight of these girls made 
some comment suggesting that business was bad. These com- 
ments were gratuitously made, and have considerable importance 
as bearing upon the effect of the closing of the houses. No girl 
suggested that her earnings had been increased. Five refused 
any information at all. One other girl gave no highest figure. 
The following table gives the data as to the remaining sixty: 
$io— $20 9 $50— $60 4 

$20 — $30 14 $60— $70 2 

$30— $40 22 $70— $80 I 

$40 — $50 7 $100 — I 

It must be borne in mind that the table is just what it pur- 
ports to be — a table showing the highest weekly earnings, not 
average, not usual or ordinary, but highest. Fifteen girls 
mentioned the specific sum of $35. 

Lowest Weekly. Ten girls state amounts from nothing to 
$10; eleven girls from $10 to $20; and nine from $20 to $30; 
no lowest figure was given by the other girls. 

These data showing weekly earnings from nothing to $100 
have their chief value when compared with the tables showing 
what these same girls, or rather some of them, earned before 
becoming prostitutes. It shows the temptation to which the 
girls, uneducated, unprotected, ill-advised and ignorant, are sub- 
jected. 

Was Prostitution Her Only Means of Support f Twenty- 
four girls stated that prostitution was their only means of sup- 
port; thirty- four said that it was not. Of these some work and 
some are married and receive support from their husbands ; 
some are married and employed ; five state that they have worked ; 
one works intermittently ; one tried house work for two weeks ; 
one is married and keeping straight. 

Means of Support Other Than Prostitution. No informa- 
tion was obtained as to one girl who works ; twenty-four give 

53 



no means of support other than prostitution. The statistics as 
to the other forty-one are as follows: 

Department Store ...... lO 

Living with husband .... 5 

Stenographers ...... 3 

Ladies' Furnishing Store .... 2 

Laundry ....... 2 

Factory ....... 2 

Live with family ...... 2 

Chambermaid (Hotel) ..... 2 

Receives money from husband ... 2 

Domestic 
Market 
Vaudeville 
Bakery 

Waitress (Restaurant) . ' 
Married and salesgirl 

Domestic and receives money from husband 
Lives with husband intermittently 
Kitchen work intermittently 
Domestic, two weeks 

Married and straight (has been a chorus girl) 
Weekly Earnings From Sources Other Than Prostitution. 
Twenty-seven of these sixty-six girls, or 41%, work more or less 
steadily. One earns $30 per month and board; another earns 
$12 per month and board. The weekly earnings of the other 
twenty-five are as follows : 

$50 * I $ 8 5 

$18 I $ 7.50 I 

$12 2 $ 7 3 

$10 4 $ 6 I 

$ 9 4 $ 4 I 

$ 8.50 2 

Has She Ever Given, Any of Her Earnings from Prostitution 

to Any Other Person? To the above question two gave no 

answer ; thirty-five answered "No" ; five others answered "No", 

but our investigator doubts the truth of the answers because of 

what she knows of their lives and relations with men; five give 



* Vaudeville actress. 



54 



from their earnings to their pimps, but it is not known whether 
they give all their earnings or not; eight give all their earnings 
to pimps ; three give all of their earnings to their husbands ; 
two, both married, help keep house with their earnings ; one gives 
her earnings to her family; five used to give their earnings to 
pimps but do not now. In other words, only about 55% have 
continuously taken for themselves the full benefits of their 
earnings from prostitution. 

Has She Now or Has She Had Any Children? We have no 
information from two; thirty-eight prostitutes have had no 
children; twenty-six have had thirty-nine children; twenty-four 
of these children are living. 

What Trade or Calling Did She Follow Before Becoming a 
Prostitute? We have no information from ten; nine lived at 
home with their families and performed no outside work ; twenty 
were married and had no gainful occupation ; one was a school- 
girl away at school ; one worked a little at everything. The 
following table gives the data as to the remaining twenty-five: 



Salesgirl 


7 


Chambermaid (Hotel) 




Stenographer 


3 


Laundry 




Married and Saleswoman 


2 


Bookkeeper 




Factory 


2 


Bakery 




Maid 


2 


Waitress 




Mill 


2 


Vaudeville 




Married and Cook 


I 







Weekly Earnings at Trade Before Becoming Prostitutes. 
We have no information from nine. The deduction for those 
having no gainful occupation is the same as in the preceding 
table. One girl earned $30 per month and board; another $12 
per month and board; another earned $3 per week and board. 
The data in regard to the remaining twenty-four are in terms 
of highest weekly earnings, as follows : 
Highest weekly earnings 



$50 


I 


$ 8 


3 


$15 


I 


$ 7.50 


I 


$12 


3 


$7 


2 


$10 


3 


$ 6 


2 


$9 


4 


$ 4-50 


I 


$ 8.50 


2 


$4 


I 



55 



Where Did She Live Before Becoming a Prostitute f The 
data are as follows : 

No information 5 Where she worked 4 

With family 25 Boarded 2 

With husband 21 On the road with 

Roomed 8 Vaudeville troup i 

The fact that forty-six, or nearly 70%, were living with 
their families or with their husbands before becoming prosti- 
tutes is worthy of note. 

Paid for Room and Board Before Becoming a Prostitute. 
Of those who lived out eight have given us no information ; one 
who lived at home paid $8.50, one $7, and two $5, per week re- 
spectively to their families. In two cases this constituted all their 
earnings. One paid $6 and another $5 per week for board; one 
paid $5, two paid $4, two $3.50, and one $2.50 for room rent. 
Forty-four did not have to pay for their board. 

II. SPECIAL DATA FROM LIFE HISTORIES. 

No. I is very fond of a good time ; pretty but ignorant. She claims 
that until she was public with her favors she was "always alone". She has 
two friends working; they all go around together. 

No. 2 was not making enough to keep herself. She was ruined after 
a picnic at Charter Oak Park at the old ZX92 Hotel. She thought the 
man would marry her. They went together for some time. Then she 
went on the streets. She states that she is very particular and would not 
meet any one under $2 and room money. Untruthful. 

No. 3 is refined looking; no one would take her for a public woman. 
She is fond of drink. She states, "I have a lovely boss. He often takes 
me out in his car. Have made many friends in this town. If a girl is 
careful she can make good money here. The trouble here is girls take 
anything." 

No. 4 says, "I married a fellow in Pennsylvania. He is all right but 
damn slow. He doesn't know he is alive; not the right kind of a man for 
me. I can do just what I want. He is over to the flat now and I have 
been away two weeks. He would not budge outside the door, thinking I 
might come home any time." Our investigator substantiated this state- 
ment. 

No 5 was ruined by the superintendent of the mill where she worked. 
He was a married man. She was on piece work. He promised her better 
work if she would yield. Afterwards he gave her good yarn for a while 
and her wages were fine. His demands came oftener. She was finally 
caught with him and had to leave the mill. She came to Hartford but 
could not find any work, so went on to the streets. She can just make a 
living; that's all. Lazy. 

56 



No. 6 says, "My mother died when I was small. I have a stepmother. 
She would beat me so badly I tired of it. My father died two years ago. 
Then it grew worse. I would run away; then she would follow me up. 
My uncle helped me to go through shorthand school. I will never go 
back home again." Our investigator states that this girl would have been 
different under other circumstances. 

No. 7 is fond of whiskey. She is being kept by a hotel man. Her 
father was a harness maker; ''I never had to work hard. I was the 
youngest. I would came over here every day in the summer, and often 

in the winter. I was ruined by ; he is well known in 

Hartford. I met my present friend two years ago. Funny — we always 
went to the X143 until I left home for good, and the owner of the X143 
always comes to the BAT44," Very pretty; well dressed. 

No. 8. "I fooled with boys around home but never got any money. 
A girl from Meriden put me wise to the money plan. I have quite a few 
regular friends. We can flirt across the street into the office and meet 
people that way. I have a room here and sneak many a one in." Pretty, 
but very low ideas. 

No. 9. "A girl is a fool not to make all she can. I have made it in 
houses where I am employed and slip out." This girl is one of the lowest 
type in Hartford. Some of her history is too vile to write. In some things 
she is untruthful. She is fond of whiskey. 

No. 10. Our investigator states that this girl is one of the toughest 
that she has ever met. She says a girl persuaded her to come to Hartford. 
She knew A69 and lived two weeks in his house. She met the man who 
became her pimp one night on Front and Talcott streets, when she was 
going into A69's house. He called her and took her to his room. He and 
A69 had a fight about it. This girl is very ignorant. She went wrong at 
fourteen years of age. 

No. II. "I want nice clothes and a good time. All the girls and 
fellows I know are sports. I am crazy to get to New York but I am 
afraid to go by myself." This girl is employed in a department store. 
She says she knows several girls in the store who go out soliciting. She 
is very pretty, foolish, and does not seem to be very bright. 

No. 12. "I had it as hard as hell home. I got tired and got out. The 
family kept getting bigger and bigger and the old man was no good. I 
wanted company. The fellow who ruined me was married, so I came to 
work in a laundry for two months. Now I don't have to. I got regular 
fellows coming to see me and you can always pick up a dollar in Hart- 
ford. There are lots of strangers and men from out of town." This girl 
is of a very common type. She was a prostitute at 16; a hard drinker. 

No. 13. First lived in New York — Hell Gate section. She was ruined 
by a man in the laundry where she was employed. She married an Italian 
barber and has been in several cities with him. He is employed at present 
on XYioo street. She meets men so as to help him. His family are well 
fixed in Italy and they are both going over this coming spring. She takes 
the men she meets to a friend's flat over the BX85 Restaurant. Very low 
type; fond of drink. 

57 



No. 14. "My husband lost his position; we were starving. I went 
out first with the grocer in my own home; then a baker; finally I drifted 
into it. At first it hurt my husband, but after a short time he stopped 
looking for work and depended on me. That settled it. I left him and 
went to Springfield for a while. After I heard that he had left town I 
came back. I wouldn't trust any man now." Very low type. 

No. 15, My mother died when I was born. My father has always 
been a rummy and I had to get along the best I knew how. I longed for 
company. Then I met a girl older than me. She taught me how to get 
the money. She is true blue. We live together." Appears to be easily 
flattered and easily led. 

No. 16. Went to live with an older sister when her mother married 
the second time. She was ruined in her sister's home by a relative by 
marriage at the age of fourteen. She says that she never knew kindness — 
always blows and curses. She appears to be a good natured girl and 
under other circumstances would have been far different. She is really 
to be pitied. The investigator believes her story to be absolutely true. She 
is ignorant and is now very rough. 

No. 17. Prides herself on being a good money maker. Her husband 
was injured at the freight yard, but being drunk when injured he could 
not collect any damages. He died three years ago. Since his death she 
has been a well known public character. 

No. 18. "I was ruined by one of the most prominent men in Hart- 
ford today. I could ruin him if I ever told. He persuaded me to have 
the baby adopted. He said that if he ever can get free he would marry 
me — if his wife would die or divorce him ; and I think she will do the 
latter. I know she is fast. Then God pity him if he doesn't keep his 
word. He is way up in politics — a swell fellow. I meet a few on the 
outside. He doesn't know. He started from the first and always made me 
presents." This girl is very pretty. She was sixteen years old when she 
was ruined and employed as a salesgirl. 

No. 19 is a stenographer in a lawyer's office. She says, "Temptation 
was so great when men asked me out to supper. They invariably asked 
me to go further. When I saw the money I could not resist. I want to 
go to the mountains and theatres. My folks think I save all I can but 
$7 a week with the clothes I buy would soon slide. I say I get salesmen's 
samples and a girl friend makes them up for me." Pretty but untruthful. 

No. 20 is very much above the average but fond of drink. Her hus- 
band was a mechanic in a mill. He had a quarrel with the boss, gave up 
his position and went to New York to do picket duty among strikers about 
four weeks ago. Before that she had to go on the streets because he was 
drinking and she had to get 'board for her boys, $6 per week. She is in 
hopes her husband won't come back as she has a friend in view who wants 
to keep her. This girl was straight until she was twenty-four years old. 

No. 21 looks diseased. She is an Italian and would talk very little 
of her past. She is in care of a pimp who takes all her money. She 
says she can always make a dollar and that her fellow (pimp) is very 
good; he saves the money. "I do not have to go out bad days.'' She is 
lazy, dirty, untruthful, and very ignorant. 

58 



No. 22 is another Italian girl with a pimp. She was afraid to talk 
much as her pimp and others were within hearing. She is really tough 
but plays innocent. She says her mother's brother ruined her one night 
in the hallway when her father and mother were asleep. She admits that 
she was willing but she was less than sixteen years old at the time. She 
sends him money now sometimes if she gets "luck money" (that is, extra 
money over the regular price). Her pimp does not know of this. The 
uncle is a married man. She is very ignorant. 

No. 23. Was ruined "when I was a kid." She married the fellow 
to keep out of a home. They have been through the West together. He 
is waiting for his father's death to get about a thousand dollars; then 
they are going to open a restaurant. He works at the Z145 Hotel now. 
His parents Hve here and she visits them frequently. His father has a 
barber shop on XYioo Street. She is untruthful and appears very much 
hardened. 

No. 24 says that after her husband died she could not get steady em- 
ployment because of her love for whiskey. She has been employed in 
several hotels; the last place was the BA144, where she remained a little 
over one year. She is a very low type of woman. 

No. 25. "I have always made money when I could. I make many a 
dollar in the ZB137 Hotel where I work. Bunches of them come here. I 
never take my men for a room there. I use my own. My friend (pimp) 
stands in with all the cops around. He knows them all. I will never get 
pinched." This girl is very tough. Her pimp takes most all her money. 

No. 26 earns seven dollars a week at a department store. She pays 
five dollars a week board. 'T can't get what I want for two dollars per. 
My sister has a big bunch of kids so I pay her big board to help out. I 
use the hall at my sister's once in a while, but mostly go where the men 
take me. I don't take any chances with the 'bulls' (police)." Tough and 
very low morally. 

No. 27. "I was a church girl once. I wanted to be a Sister but my 
mother was not strong for the church. She had turned religious to please 
the old man. Well, I went to work in a factory, and, believe me, what I 
did not learn. I left home because she beat me so much. I took a room 
with a girl. She had a beau and he fell for me. We jumped the town 
and came here. We are going to beat it in three weeks. He is going to 
Washington, D. C, and I am going there to work during the big time." 
(Inauguration week). 

No. 28 was seduced by a porter in a hotel in Springfield, where she 
worked as chambermaid. She has worked in several hotels in this city. 
Her pimp with whom she lives works in Ci46's saloon as helper. "When 
things open up in Hartford we are going to open up a place on XY147 
street." Very low morally. Our investigator says she is one of the 
toughest girls she ever met. 

No. 29 is a hard drinker, tough and dissipated now. "I was in love 
with a fellow. Kept company ten years. He would not marry me while 
his mother lived. When she died he had been married four years and I 
never knew it. I started drinking and went to hell right. Never again. 

59 



Married a fellow to spite another girl and then threw him out. I don't 
care what becomes of me." This girl has three boatmen who come to 
see her every day. She is living with a railroad brakeman. 

No. 30 was a bookkeeper in a factory. The man who owned the 
factory ruined her. When her condition became noticeable he brought her 
here with a friend of his. The baby was adopted. He comes three times 
a week and the rest of the time she spends making money. She is anxious 
to go on the stage. This girl is very pretty and dresses well. She is quite 
different from the ordinary type. 

No. 31. 'T was ruined at school — janitor, I think. Two girls and 
three men were arrested one night. Cop said we were living in a shed 
but it was a lie. I was home every night. But we were sent up. I learnt 
enough in prison to fill a book. Why, I learned everything on the calen- 
dar. When I came out I started to get money and save it. When I get 
caught again it will be for something." 

No. 32. 'T married the fellow who ruined me. He only lived with 
me six months after the kid was born and eight months in all. When he 
found out I would not hustle for him he shook me. I tried working in 
a factory but it was too hard. For a while I lived with B147 on XY148 
street, also C149 on XY148 street. When they raided the houses I went 
to New Haven, but I could not stay away from the kid so I came back. 
I can make out all right. I am careful." 

No. 33 is another low type girl, working for a pimp who takes all 
her money. She was a mother at fifteen years of age. She is now 
twenty-two. 'T was always in trouble. Started when I went to school. 
My kid is going to school now." This girl spoke of having been an inmate 
of A69's house when she was 16. She says she never received a cent at 
first because she did not have the sense to collect it. She is proud of the 
number of men she has been with in A69's house — twenty-three in one 
night. She referred to it as the hoodoo number. That night she refers 
to as a banner night because she made $15 for herself. 

No. 34. I married a fellow who worked near Hartford. He was a 
bum — drunk all the time. One day a friend and I were walking down 
XY150 street and right in front of the B150 we met two men. They were 
going to the C151 for lunch. We caught on and I have held my friend 
ever since. He is away up in politics and works in the CX152 Co. I can 
have anything I want. We eat at C153 regularly." Very pretty and well 
dressed. 

No. 35. *T was known as a clever character woman but I can't quit 
the booze. I lay off for a week but it gets me. I am on a spree now. 
After a while I will quit, brace up and on the road again. I am not myself 
when I am drinking." Very unfortunate. Would not speak of her former 
life. 

No. 36. "Never had any pleasure at home. Tired of all work. Left 
home three times but always returned. This time away for good. My 
father drinks and hits me every time he feels like it." Very ignorant girl. 
Lx)oks like a hard worker. Longs for company. Would have been dif- 
ferent under different circumstances. 

60 



No. 37. "I slipped when I was a kid, and, believe me, my mother put 
me in a home. I did not know a thing when I went in, but I was wise 
when I came out. Girls there told me how to make money and lots of 
stuflf. I came out educated. I stayed home for a bluff for a while ; but I 
hate my mother, and when A154 (No. 36) made up her mind we beat it 
together. I am of age now and they can't stop me. I send $2 home for 
the kid every week." Small for her age ; very low type. 

No. 38. This girl's parents persuaded her to marry. She went to 
live with her husband's people. They dictated to her as to spending the 
money. She has to live there. He won't leave. They handle almost all 
of his money. She cannot have any money for clothes. Her husband is 
cold; she longs for affection, clothes and pleasure; he never leaves the 
house. She comes to Hartford two or three times a week from B155. 
She will go out with a man for a glass of soda. 

No. 39 married a young printer. She lived happily with him until 
he contracted a venereal disease. She is now suffering from what she 
calls ''inward trouble", which her husband was probably responsible for. 
He is now a Justice of the Peace in X156. Her parents are both dead. 
Her children died two months apart. She just drifted into the life. She 
met a Hartford man who was visiting some friends in Boston. He 
persuaded her to come here. He soon got tired of coming so steadily. 
She was lonesome and gathered some friends around her. She says she 
never bothers with women. She is exceptionally bright and good-looking. 

No. 40. "Been going with a fellow my family objected to. He told 
me I was foolish not to make some extra change. I would go out for 
pleasure but I soon learned to ask for money." Very peculiar, untruthful, 
easily led. 

No. 41 likes nice clothes and wants to go to see the good shows when 
they come here. She was a salesgirl. Received $8 per week and paid $5 
a week to her family for board. She was ruined by her lover three years 
ago. She had a baby that died. Her father is a crank. He is always 
casting up her mistake and the disgrace she brought on the family. Some 
day she is going to New York. She is now employed at a department 
store and a salesman whom she met there writes her about it; he wants 
her to come on. She is thinking of going about May. Giddy girl ; very 
pretty; not well-balanced mentally. 

No. 42 has a friend who is a waiter in the X157 Hotel. She met him 
nine months ago. He was then employed in C153 Cafe. She was then 
working at a department store. He persuaded her to give up work and 
told her that he would take care of her. She says she does not really have 
to go out but likes the society of strange men and the extra change that it 
gives her. She is fond of drink and spends her money on that and foolish 
things. She only slips out when she is sure her friend is working. He 
does not know it. She goes with men to their rooms. 

No. 43. This girl's husband was a draughtsman. After being mar- 
ried several years he became exceptionally abusive. She was compelled 
to leave him. She tried to work but had no trade. A man with whom 
she became acquainted at a factory persuaded her to go to Worcester. 

61 



From there she drifted here five years ago. Her husband divorced her 
but married again. She has two steady friends calling. The greater part 
of her money she makes at CXyo's Cafe — small amounts but auick. 

No. 44 was married when she was fifteen years old. Until the baby 
died her husband was all right. "After that he blamed me for its getting 
cold. We live in the same house but do not occupy the same room. He 
has a girl on Main street whom he goes to see. She hustles the streets 
too." Her husband knows of her going out. "I won't divorce him and 
he could never save the money." Very low type. 

No. 45. "I was always fond of life. Married a dead one; he never 
goes out. Can't make enough to keep himself. I tired of poverty. While 
my mother lived she helped me out. After she died I nearly starved. I 
pity the poor thing; he tries to do. I come in many a night and don't 
make a cent ; then, again, I make out fair. Never stay out all night. Take 
eleven o'clock car home." Has two children living. Lost all respect for 
herself. Low type. Uses her money to keep house. Fond of drink. 

No. 46 is employed at a department store. "My friend is awful good 
to me. He pays the rent and half my meals. He lives with me. He is a 
waiter in AC625 Hotel. I sneak out at night to make some change. You 
never know how long these fellows will stick. Had two before him and 
lost both." Very tough and hardened. 

No. 47 was one of a large family. Her uncle, aunt and five cousins 
lived with them. She was seduced by one of these cousins and had a 
baby. Her mother watches her very closely. She likes to go to dances 
and the theatres and to have pretty things. She earns $7 a week at a 
department store and is allowed twenty-five cents a week out of this in 
spending money ; her family takes the rest. Very ignorant. Easily led. 
Tries to appear innocent but is now well versed in every method adopted 
by public women to get money from men. 

No. 48 was ruined when very young by a son of the family where she 
worked. He died of consumption. Her parents were both dead. A rela- 
tive took care of her until she was able to work. This was in New York 
City. She then went into a house of prostitution there. A girl who had 
been an inmate of the house came to Hartford and found a place for her 
at housework. She left that after two weeks and went back to the streets. 
She has been an inmate of one of Hartford's houses of prostitution. She 
has a pimp with whom she Hves. She gets enough money to pay for her 
clothes. Tough. 

No. 49 was ruined by a young fellow who worked in New Britain, 
where she formerly lived. He persuaded her to come here. At first she 1 

came over just to solicit. Then he found a position as bell-hop in a hotel 
here and she came over for good. He works late one week, early the 
next. He can learn when anything is going to be pulled off by the cops 
around the hotel and then she doesn't go out. He takes all her money. 
Very low type. 

No. 50. "My husband is an awful bum. He abuses me terrible. 
When Mrs. A158 came to live next door she told me what a fool I was 
to take it. She and I would come over here from B159 and make money 

62 



and no one knew it. She died last November and I come over alone. I 
never get a square meal unless I buy it here. I lead a dog's life. He 
drinks, and his mother, who lives with us, fights with me, saying it is my 
fault. Some day I will never go back," Very sad case. Above the 
average in appearance. 

No. 51, "I was born a . Never could put my mind on anything 

else. Played with boys all the time," Pier mother tried to put her away 
but could not prove she was bad. "Fellow coming through the town got 
stuck on me and brought me here, then beat it, leaving me here, I just 
stayed on and made money, I have some good friends and money comes 
easy else I would go to New York, Here I know every one." Very 
tough. 

No, 52 was ruined by the young fellow to whom she was engaged. 
After the baby was born she was so ill that she never left her bed for 
ten months. He married a doctor's daughter here. Since then she has 
been reckless. Her family cast it up continually until she had to leave 
home. This was eight years ago. Now she is careless in her appearance, 
rough in her manners and thoroughly hardened. She appears rather 
ignorant and claims she is in the life only for the money. She shows 
indications of being a drug fiend. 

No. 53 was married to a son of CB626, the family who have a store 
on XYioo street. He would not settle down. Her father made her leave 
him. She does not care for home life; likes excitement; goes to Boston 
frequently and to New York. Very much above the average public girl ; 
well educated and neatly dressed. Would not talk very much of her 
manner of soliciting. 

No. 54 has a friend who is a clerk in the Xiio. He helps her. The 
head man in a grocery and the manager of the AX161 Hotel are some of 
her friends. "I don't bother with cheap men, I go to my room with 
regular friends. Outsiders I take to XY162 Street and some to AX163 
Hotel." Very pretty blonde; dresses very well and is well educated. 

No. 55 is married. Her husband is employed in the AB164 store as 
salesman. ''Too dumb to be alive. All he knows is work and he makes 
no money at that, I have a great fellow. He was waiter in a saloon 
on XY165 street and it was through me he lost his job, so I slip out and 
help him what I can until he gets in again." 

No. 56. 'T could never go anywhere. We lived in AC166, Mass. — 
a jay town. I would go to BC167 and then my father would beat me. I 
missed the car one week three times, so I stayed away from home. My 
mother put me away but as soon as I was free I started right. My father 
was a contractor. We lived in nine places in one year, but he put us in 
a country place away from town every time, I never write home any 
more. Very low. 

No. 57 was married. Her husband forced her out to meet men. She 
was afraid to tell any one. He is now in the hospital with consumption, 
and she has another fellow. He has a fruit-stand on XY168 street. Next 
month she and her friend are going to Boston to live. Ignorant and very 
bad. Would do anything to get money, 

63 



No. 58 was married. Her husband brutally forced her to unnatural 
practices to avoid children. She left him and tried to earn her living. She 
had no trade. She came here with a carpenter, an old lover of hers before 
she was married. He drank and beat her. She drifted on to the streets ; 
was afraid to go anywhere else. She has several good friends who help 
her regularly. Thoroughly hardened now. Will meet anyone now for 
$1, using her own room. 

No. 59 was married. Husband lost his job and went to New York 
to get a position. She learned that he was living with another woman. 
She followed him to try to get him to come back. He refused. He allows 
her $3 a week for their boy. She lives with a very nice family in XC169 
She gets $4 a week. She is trying to get good clothes to make her husband 
feel badly when he sees her. She is going to New York for Easter. 
Ignorant and easily led. 

No. 60. A young man of whom she was very fond seduced her. Then 
he bought medicine from a druggist on AXYiio street which brought 
around the desired effects. A friend of the family, a business man here 
in town, took her to XCi7o's Cafe for lunch one day. She had been drink- 
ing and told him of her misfortune. He made a promise to help her if 
she would allow him to be her friend. They go to AT171 twice a week. 
She meets other fellows when he is not around. Very pretty but easily 
led. 

No. 61 would talk very little about herself. She has raised three 
children alone. She would not say whether she is a widow or not. She 
has one girl living in A172, married; a boy is working in a tobacco fac- 
tory; No, 63, her other daughter, is living in C173. Uses cocaine. 

No. 62. She and her daughter, No, 66, solicit together — pick men 
from the street while walking together. They have men call at their 
rooms. H the daughter is out the mother tries to get the trade. A baby 
girl, five years old, said to be lacerated as a result of carnal abuse, lives 
with them. No. 66 claims the baby is her mother's but there is some 
evidence that it is her own. A son solicits trade for the mother and 
sister. 

No. 6s is the daughter of No. 61. This girl is very pretty. Her hus- 
band, whom she married six months ago, is a chauffeur. Since her mar- 
riage she has been straight; but she swears that as soon as he fails to 
provide for her support she will go back into the life. 

No, 64 uses heroin. She worked as a waitress in a cheap restaurant 
in Hartford, "I grew tired of the continual drudge in a restaurant; and 
too many chances were given me." She married about eight months ago 
and supports her husband with her earnings as a prostitute. He has been 
out of work for some time. ' She has low ideas and is ignorant, but is a 
very fair looking girl. 

No. 65 runs the rooming house where No. 62 and No. 66 live. From 
her earlier life she has been known as a public character. She has been 
married twice. Her present husband does not make a legitimate living. 
She helps him from her earnings as a prostitute and by taking roomers. 
She has X174 living with her. Her mother also lives in the same house. 

64 



No. 66 is one of the lowest types in Hartford. Her history has been 
given with that of her mother, No. 62. All of her earnings as a prostitute 
go to her husband. 

As may be inferred from the above there are all grades in 
the classification of prostitutes, from the woman or girl of loose 
morals who, although engaged in a respectable occupation, 
occasionally prostitutes herself among a small circle of her 
acquaintance or to a single individual for the sake of a good 
time, occasional presents, or even small tips that she may receive, 
down through the large number who make this their principal 
means of support to the comparatively small class who carry 
on their trade as the occupants of a regular house of prostitution. 
The nearly universal tendency is for these girls to pass in a few 
years down the course of these grades. Various factors in their 
lives, especially age, mental deficiency, alcohol, disappointment, 
and the venereal diseases hasten to unfit them for their particular 
business until, at the end, they either marry, die, become keepers 
themselves or land^ in jails and workhouses as common bums. 



65 



CHAPTER VI. 

CAUSES OF PROSTITUTION.' 

A comprehensive view of the fundamental factors of the 
problem of prostitution is necessary to an adequate considera- 
tion of possible remedies. We must attempt, therefore, an 
analysis of the causes of prostitution. The life histories of 
Hartford prostitutes given in the preceding pages indicate some 
of the conditions which have led women into vice. Biographical 
studies of this kind and inquiries into the circumstances of the 
classes from which prostitution is recruited are important be- 
cause they bring to light matters which otherwise would not 
receive attention. The fact that prostitutes have been a despised 
class whose very existence many would have been glad to ignore 
makes it inevitable that ignorance and misunderstanding in re- 
gard to conditions affecting them should be widely prevalent. 
The first task of modern investigation was, therefore, to describe 
those conditions in detail. But to consider only the women, the 
supply side of this business, would give an incomplete view of 
the problem, and lead to a neglect of practical measures for re- 
ducing the demand for prostitutes on the part of men. A de- 
tailed study of the factors which lead men into vice, however, 
would encounter great difficulties. But these factors are largely 
matters of common knowledge. What is needed is not further 
knowledge, but the courage to deal with what we know. Besides 
the male and the female sides of the problem, the demand and 
the supply, there are the commercial factors — the middlemen 
who incite and stimulate the demand and bring out the supply, 
and the various ancillary lines of business, such as that of hotels 
and saloons, which encourage the evil traffic because of the 
incidental profit it brings, to them. In the following discussion 
we group what appear to us to be the factors which should be 
emphasized under the three heads just suggested — (i) Factors 
affecting men and the demand for prostitution; (2) Factors 
affecting women and the supply of prostitutes; (3) Commercial 
factors. 

66 



I. DEMAND. 

A powerful factor, acting in both sexes but especially strong 
in the male, is the sexual impulse. As a force necessary to the 
perpetuation of the race it cannot be eliminated. Like the de- 
sire for food, to which it is often likened, the sexual impulse is 
one of the most fundamental, though not always conscious, 
motives of human activity. Unlike the desire for food, however, 
the sex-appetite is not one which must be satisfied. The life 
of the individual does not depend upon its gratification. More- 
over, its gratification is not essential to the bodily health of the 
individual. The doctrine of the necessity of the sexual act has 
no foundation in fact.* Unfortunately, however, the still 
widely held notion of the need of satisfying sexual desires gives 
artificial stimulus to this appetite and thus helps to stimulate a 
demand for prostitution. 

The fact that the sexual impulse is strong irrespective of 
whether there is opportunity of satisfying it in wedlock is the 
chief cause of sexual irregularities. The presence in our cities 
of large numbers of unmarried men and of men who, for one 
reason or another, are deprived of home life, creates a market 
for the services of the prostitute. Whatever puts obstacles in 
the way of marriage and raises the age at which men can marry, 
tends to increase the demand. As long as a demand for pros- 
titution exists, it will be met in part at least by a supply. It is 
a mistake, however, to assume that the demand must be fully 
satisfied, or that it must be regarded as an entirely uncontrollable 
force. It can, in part, be discouraged by the weight of social 
disapproval and by obstacles placed in the way of its satisfaction. 
It can be diminished by removing artificial incitements and open 
allurements to vice. It can be further diminished by education 
in self-control, in knowledge of the dangers of illicit sexual 
relations, and in appreciation of the place of sex in the life of 
the individual and of the race. 



* See address by Dr. William H. Howell, Professor of Physiology, 
Johns Hopkins University, before the Maryland Society of Social Hygiene, 
1912. 

67 



11. SUPPLY. 

It would be possible to enumerate a large number of con- 
ditions which in one way or another lead girls into the life of 
prostitution. A part of the ''supply" of girls for this business 
is attracted into the market in various ways. Of another part 
it may be said that it has been practically forced into prostitution. 

Low Wages. Of the factors which lead to a more or less 
voluntary adoption of the life of prostitution, that of insufficient 
wages in the respectable occupations open to women has received 
special attention of late, and merits some consideration in this 
report. Among the wage-earners of Hartford are several 
thousand women and girls.* A living wage for a self-supporting 
girl in Hartford has been estimated as not less than ten dollars 
a week (seven dollars for food and lodging; three for clothes 
and recreation). Obviously a considerable number of girls fail 
to get this wage. In the metal industry of Hartford, for ex- 
ample, according to figures furnished by the Connecticut In- 
dustrial Commission,J 95.34% of the girls of sixteen years of 
age or over receive less than $10 actual weekly earnings; 83.56% 
receive less than $9; 70.13% less than $8; 39.17% less than $7. 
It may be remarked that the wages paid to girls in this industry 
are better than in some other employments.:}: 

Wide publicity has recently been given to the view that the 
low wages of women are the chief factor in the supply of pros- 
titutes; that women finding themselves on the brink of actual 



* In the year 1900 the number of female breadwinners sixteen years 
of age and over was 8,597. Of these 1,761 were from sixteen to twenty 
years of age, 1,907 from twenty-one to twenty-four years of age, 2,541 
from twenty-five to thirty-four years of age. (Special Reports of Census 
Office, Statistics of Women at Work, 1907.) 

t From a study of 455 girls in this industry. 

% No exact inference in regard to the number of girls and women 
failing to receive a sufficient income is possible unless we know how many 
are entirely dependent on their own earnings. Unfortunately we have 
no data in regard to this question for Hartford. The U. S. Bureau of 
Labor has interviewed women wage-earners in seven cities to ascertain 
the proportion entirely dependent on themselves. Among department 
store employees thus interviewed the percentage of those entirely dependent 
on themselves is 35.8 in Boston, 20.3 in Chicago, 27.7 in Minneapolis and 
St, Paul, 7.9 in New York, 22.2 in Philadelphia, 21 in St. Louis. Among 
mill and factory employees the percentage is 25.3 in Boston, 16.4 in Chicago, 

18.5 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, 13 in New York, 18 in Philadelphia, and 

21.6 in St. Louis. (See Senate Documents Vol, 90, 61 st Congress, 2nd 
session, page 15.) 

68 



want give up the struggle to gain a livelihood by legitimate means 
and throw themselves into prostitution as the most obvious and 
only way of making a living. 

It is certain that little dependence can be put upon the 
reasons for entering a life of prostitution given by a woman 
under circumstances that induce her to place herself in as 
favorable a light as possible. The method of public hearings 
recently employed by a legislative commission of a western state 
is not likely to lead to trustworthy results. The only method 
to be used if the truth is what is sought is to make the inquiry 
under such circumstances that the woman has no inducement 
to give a biased explanation. By following these methods an 
experienced investigator will arrive much nearer the truth than 
will those who bring these women face to face with the employ- 
ers of labor. Those who have used the correct method of 
inquiry have not established a very direct connection between 
low wages and prostitution. Here in Hartford our investigator 
for some time pretended to be a common prostitute. Through 
a period of months she gradually won the confidence of 
girls practicing prostitution, took them to her rooms, went 

to the theatre with them, treated them at the cafes, etc. She 
is still in their entire confidence and not suspected of being an 
investigator. In this way she has little by little drawn out their 
life histories and turned them over to this Commission. Our 
conclusions are largely based on data secured in this way. We 
have found in Hartford only two or three cases in which the 
facts lent any color to the inference that low wages or want were 
the direct and immediate cause of inducing a girl previously 
virtuous to enter a life of prostitution. 

After prostitution has been taken up, however, the smallness 
of the wage in ordinary employment is perhaps the chief 
obstacle to a return to a virtuous life. 

In Senate Document No. 645, 61 st Congress, 2nd Session, 
on the "Relation between Occupation and Criminality of 
Women," a study covering over three thousand delinquents, it 
was found that *'by far the greater number of women gainfully 
employed who had reached the prisons and penitentiaries came 
there from the pursuits which have for generations been recog- 
nized as peculiarly woman's work, and that the newer industries 
opened to them in the last thirty years furnish very much less 

69 



than their proportion. 80% came from their own homes or 
from the traditional pursuits of women, and a trifle less than 
12% from all other lawful occupations." 

A special investigation into the ''Relation Between Occupa- 
tion and Immorality Among Women" shows little connection 
between occupation and immorality, or want and immorality. 
They ''go wrong because of causes operative before they entered 
the industrial world." In a group of 100 cases "The unscrupu- 
lous employer appears but four times, and among the women 
of good inclinations he appears but twice." In the studies of 
The Hartford Vice Commission but two employers have been 
found who have been proved to have taken advantage of their 
position as employers to seduce female employees from the path 
of virtue. 

"Out of one hundred women leading habitually immoral 
lives in Boston, whose histories were obtained by the U. S. 
Bureau of Labor in such a v/ay that the girls did not know that 
their histories were being taken, only six gave low wages or 
want as a chief factor in their downfall. And of these six 
there was only one where the need was not due to the fault or 
failure of someone who should have been the wage-earner." 
(Senate Document No. 645.) 

The relation between vice and wages is usually less direct 
than is suggested by popular theory. It is not so much the 
insufficiency of the wage of the girl at the time she takes the first 
step towards prostitution as the environment of poverty in which 
she has grown up that gradually leads to the state of mind and 
to the situation which make that step possible. A great variety 
of unfavorable conditions have drawn "daughters of the poor" 
into traffic with their bodies. So far as it is a question of wages, 
it is a question of the wages not only of women and girls, but 
of husbands and fathers ; in short, of the earnings of the entire 
social class from which the supply of prostitutes has been so 
largely derived. 

Defective Physical ^Condition. Unsanitary surroundings, 
bad housing conditions, overwork, lack of recreation, etc., ob- 
viously lead to defective physical condition and sometimes to 
feeble minds. Of the latter we shall have something to say in 
the next paragraph. Defective physical condition may cause in 
some cases a more ready susceptibility to the temptations of 
dangerous pleasures, and one might presuppose that it would be 

70 



abnormally frequent among those drawn into the life of prosti- 
tution. It seems, however, that the charm of physical perfection 
and good health so increase both the opportunities and the 
temptations to a life of immorality that they more than counter- 
balance the effects of a weak or ill-developed physique. Such 
studies as we have along this line indicate that the girls 
who have given way to sexual temptation are, as a matter of 
fact, a trifle higher in the physical scale than the generality of 
delinquents. Female delinquents, however, as a class are below 
normal in physique. This is fairly well established by the studies 
of Dr. Alice Weld Tallant in over five hundre^d observations made 
on the girls admitted to Sleighton Farm from the courts of 
Eastern Pennsylvania. (Bulletin of American Academy of 
Medicine, October, 1912.) Compared with Boston school 
children these delinquent girls, as a whole, showed a somewhat 
higher percentage of physical defects. Of those classed by Dr. 
Tallant as in good physical condition, 75% had been immoral; 
while of those classed as in fair or poor condition, 66%% had 
been immoral. Our own observation of prostitutes, both in 
Hartford and elsewhere, leads us to believe that early in their 
career their physical condition is usually good, or even above 
that of the average woman of the same stratum of society, but 
that, after a few years of dissipation, this rapidly changes and 
the earmarks of decay appear. We do not, therefore, credit 
the assertion that physical defectiveness is a direct factor in the 
causation of prostitution. 

Defective Mentality. In a letter to the Chairman of this 
Commission, dated November 19, 1912, Dr. Katharine B. Davis, 
Superintendent of the New York State Reformatory for Women, 
says, "Out of 2,020 common prostitutes of New York City, of 
whom we have data, we have marked as normal 49.3% ; epileptic 
1.2%; insane 2.4%; neurotic 2.64%; feeble minded in varying 
degrees 29.2% ; or a total of 35.5% sub-normal, and 15.17% on 
whom we have not sufficient data to base a judgment and have 
marked 'unknown'." 

These figures represent, we believe, the best data obtainable 
on the question of the mental defectiveness of prostitutes. They 
indicate that 35% or more of common prostitutes are mentally 
deficient according to the tests used by competent psychologists. 
This seems a high proportion, but as the percentage of mentally 

71 



defective that might be found among virtuous women by the 
application of the same tests is unknown, we have no standard 
for comparison. 

A girl of defective mentality moves along the course of 
least resistance. If circumstances surround her with safeguards 
or guide her life into safe channels, she remains a respectable 
member of society, but still ''non-moral" and without mental 
vigor. If, on the other hand, circumstances are not favorable, 
she may drift into habits of vice. An effort on the part of 
someone at an early age in her career, or even after the first 
mis-step, might have changed her whole course through life. 
Institutional care might have helped her. Aside from such aid 
and good fortune, however, there is small likelihood of reform. 
The necessary mental vigor is not there. 

In this connection it may be noted that physical and mental 
characteristics do not make prostitutes a class by themselves. 
They are rather to be considered members of the whole class of 
female delinquents. This at least is the impression gained by 
a study of prostitutes found in institutions. They do not differ 
from other delinquents in their origin and development, nor in 
their physical or mental condition. The fact that they have 
become prostitutes rather than thieves is a mere matter of chance. 
Very often they are both, but theft is more likely to bring them 
to an institution than sexual offence. 

The causes of defective mentality are somewhat intangible. 
In addition to unfavorable influences in environment, heredity 
and pre-natal alcoholic poisoning in all probability play a large 
part. The problems of heredity are too difficult and unsettled 
for discussion in this report. In any case we are not prepared 
to urge radical measures for protecting society against hereditary 
taints. The meager character of such conclusions in regard to 
heredity as are established beyond question, and the difficulty 
of eliminating the effect of environment so as to isolate the 
effect of heredity in the life of any individual make it appear 
that the time has not come for far-reaching eugenic reforms. 

Lack of Wholesome Recreation. Play is necessary to the 
symmetrical development of body and mind, and youth is the 
time for it. If opportunities for play under safe and whole- 
some conditions are lacking, the suggestions of the sexual im- 
pulse and the excitement of vice may become irresistibly attract- 

72 



ive. A community which allows congestion of dwellings to such 
a degree that its children cannot find a place for play must make 
some special provision. Hartford is a leader in recreational 
facilities for children. We are widely known for the pioneer 
work of our Park Board. Other cities send their representatives 
here to learn, and yet, in the words of the Superintendent of 
this same Board, '*We haven't scratched the surface yet" of 
what we should do. 

Hartford has a population of about 100,000. If ten hours 
a day are consumed in work, and ten in eating and sleeping, 
there are four hours left for recreation. That is 400,000 hours 
a day to be spent in play somewhere. If we add to this the 
time of those who are always sick, those too old and those too 
young to work, we have, roughly, a half million free hours a 
day in Hartford. Men and women, boys and girls, that work 
eight or ten hours a day at one continuous, monotonous task are 
the ones that most need hours of leisure. They should have 
some recreation every day if they are to preserve a normal, 
moral attitude toward their environment. We allow a very few 
of our population to heap tenements together, to fill up back 
yards with more and alleyways with still more tenements. In 
such places a large part of our population is born and reared. 
But where shall the children learn fair play? Where shall they 
learn the good things of living? Where must the young woman 
meet her male acquaintances? Where must the young man 
meet his friends? Such questions suggest the seriousness of 
the problem which the community has to deal with. 

III. COMMERCIAL FACTORS. 

A considerable amount of the social evil is the creation of 
cold-blooded, commercial enterprise. Added to the prostitution 
arising inevitably from human weakness and misfortune is that 
which is built up as a business by middlemen who force a supply 
of girls and stimulate a demand. There's money in it — "profit 
in selling girls to houses, profit in selling their services, profit 
in selling clothes to them and liquor to their customers, profit in 
renting disorderly houses and apartments."* The extent to 



* The Survey, May 24, 1913. 

73 



which commercial methods have organized this traffic has only 
recently become generally known. That men and women kept 
girls in houses of ill-fame was common knowledge. That certain 
other individuals made a business of supplying girls for these 
houses for a consideration and sought to draw from them a 
commission during their stay in these houses came as a surprise 
to most students of the problem. 

Enough has been said in preceding pages of this report to 
make it plain that vice has been commercialized in this city much 
as elsewhere. One of the strongest arguments for continuing 
the policy of keeping the regular houses of this city closed is 
the fact that by this means vice, as a business, becomes un- 
profitable. The pimps still sit in the cafes and read their papers 
while the women ''work". But the keeper is out of it, and the 
trafficker has no field. 

The Liquor Traffic. As sources of misery to our citizens^ 
the liquor traffic and prostitution go hand in hand. If you v/ant 
to find where prostitution dwells inquire at some of the saloons. 
The bar-keeper, though unawares, has been a good informer for 
the Commission. If you wish to see women in the role of 
prostitutes at their worst, go to some of the saloons. Sexual 
crimes often have their origin in the excitement of the drinking- 
cup. Alcohol is the drug used to stupefy the conscience of the 
novice. Rooms over saloons or connected with them are among 
the most serviceable places for purposes of prostitution. 

Use of Theatres by Prostitutes. In this connection attention 
should be given to the opportunities for vice offered where large 
crowds may be found at night. All of our theatres are used as 
soliciting places by prostitutes. Three or four are notorious. 
Prostitutes take their station at the back of the theatres, in the 
halls and corridors and on the stairs of the exit. Here they are 
at the close of every performance. The innocent and un- 
suspecting do not see them, but by signs and actions easily 
understood they procure their customers and take them to rooms 
or so-called hotels, near-by, where a third party takes his toll 
of their vice in the form of room-rent. These practices are 
well-known to the police and to the officials of the theatres. 

In the foregoing discussion we have considered chiefly what 
appear to be among the more immediate causes of the social 

74 



evil. But this Commission realizes that back of these are other 
social forces. Whatever lowers the general standard of morality, 
fosters ignorance, increases poverty, or adds to the degradation 
of the poor, creates conditions favorable to prostitution. Some 
reference, perhaps, should have been made also to the persistence 
of a primitive attitude toward women, a survival from the time 
when women were objects of theft, purchase and ownership. 
A discussion of all these more remote causes of the social evil, 
however, is beyond the province of this report. 



75 



CHAPTER VII. 

PREVENTIVE MEASURES. 

I. EDUCATION IN SEX. 

The ideal of education is to give such guidance to the mental 
activity of the child that, in the acquisition of facts, he is led 
to a proper perspective and a disposition to react with reason 
to his environment. As applied to matters of sex this would 
imply that when the child reaches the age of development which 
obliges him to ask questions regarding sexual matters, his in- 
quiry should be met with the same frankness with which his 
other questions are met, or ought to be met. He should be 
told as much of the truth as will satisfy his natural curiosity. 
As he further develops he will ask questions in proportion to 
his need. This will occur much as a child will ask for food 
when he needs it. The cerebral cortex and association paths 
in his brain develop very rapidly, and answers to his questions 
are necessary to symmetrical development. Mystery thrown 
about the subjects relating to sex and untruthfulness in these 
matters on the part of his parents may so affect his habits of 
thought as to cause him forever to associate this subject with 
things secret and evil. A policy of reasonable frankness would 
help to keep the child's conception of sex matters on its proper 
plane, and this should be an elevated and honorable one. Nothing 
is more certain than that, from a biological point of view at 
least, the functions of sex are worthy of honor. Why, there- 
fore, should we try to make that which nature makes so im- 
portant, a subject of shame? Here is the practical problem. 
The teaching suggested above undoubtedly belongs to the parents, 
and can best be done by them. It is just as obvious, however, 
that the vast majority of parents do not perform this duty. 
Who, then, shall do it? The simplest answer is — The school. 
But what shall be the method? 

The Commission has given serious thought to this subject, 
has listened to the advocates of various methods, and is well 

76 



aware of the practical difficulties involved. Methods are still 
in the experimental stage. In the course of nature study given 
in some of our schools a beginning has been made in instruction 
relating to sex, and of treating the subject in a perfectly natural 
way. Very properly there is nothing that goes under the name 
of instruction in sex. It is just as important that these matters 
should not be over-emphasized as that they should receive 
sufficient attention. The children are taught about the fertiliza- 
tion of flowers and the dissemination of seeds, and are led to 
observe frogs, toads and similar living beings. In a simple 
unaffected way, free from lascivious suggestion, some conception 
of sexual function is gained. Such instruction, in the main, 
gives a biological view of sex. When, at a later stage of the 
child's development, the sexual problems of human life are met, 
there will be the necessity of considering social and ethical 
questions. Whether this can be done in any school of less than 
collegiate grade we are not prepared to state. Parents and the 
church, however, have duties to perform in this matter. It is 
our belief that a religious faith is one of the greatest helps to 
right conduct in questions of sex.* 

A great drawback to the introduction of sex teaching of any 
kind in the schools is the lack of properly qualified teachers. 
Such work requires high ideals, a lofty conception of the work 
to be done, breadth of mind and a very thorough training in 
biological studies. Teachers with such equipment cannot at 
present be secured by most of our public schools. The general 
public, moreover, appears to be not quite prepared to see such 
teaching introduced. In any case it will be necessary to proceed 
with caution. The first step is, perhaps, to interest our normal 
schools in preparing teachers for this work. We believe that 
the whole question will in time be solved by the school authori- 
ties, and that the city will do best to leave the details with them. 

Beyond the above suggestions as to what may be done in 
the public schools, the Commission does not see that the city 
can do anything in the matter of education. Much that is good 
has been done and is being done by other organizations; some 
that is bad. We believe that the Mayor might sometimes 
exercise his veto on the circulation of literature, advertisements, 
etc., of an obscene and suggestive nature. 

* We call attention to the work of The Holy Name Society. 

77 



II. STATE REFORMATORY FOR WOMEN. 

Connecticut is in great need of a State Reformatory 
for Women. At the present time we have only one public 
institution for delinquent girls, the Industrial School for 
Girls at Middletown. It is an excellent institution, but 
not open to girls over sixteen years of age. For girls 
convicted after reaching that age there are no reformatory 
institutions except the House of the Good Shepherd in Hartford 
and the Florence Crittenden Mission in New Haven. Both of 
these are under private control, and there are many respects in 
which public institutions are superior to those in private control. 

It is the custom of our law to try to make the punishment 
fit the crime. In this class of cases at least it is certain that the 
punishment ought to fit the criminal. Women convicted of 
misdemeanors or crimes of a sexual nature present an endless 
variety of types ; girls of seventeen, nineteen, twenty-five or 
thirty ; girls with good parents and homes, girls with bad parents, 
girls with no parents; those who have just started on the 
downward path, and those already hardened in sin ; the well, 
the sick, the non-moral and the immoral, the mentally defective 
and the insane. For all these there is need of a custodial in- 
stitution managed on a high plane. Girls should be sent to this 
institution under indeterminate sentences, either unlimited in 
time or subject to periodical revision by the court until the 
board of governors of the institution could see fit to release them 
back to a self-guided life on probation, or transfer them to the 
institution best suited to their needs. The heredity, personal 
history, circumstances, physique, and mental capacity of each 
inmate should be scientifically studied. To this reformatory 
should be sent all female delinquents of sixteen years or over 
convicted for other than capital offences. Many would doubt- 
less have to remain there for life. Life in such an institution, 
however, would be preferable to the miserable existence awaiting 
the typical prostitute. In this connection we may record that 
we have been able to learn of exceedingly few habitual prostitutes 
of this city who have been brought back to a respectable life in 
any way other than through marriage. 

One of the greatest advantages of the establishment of a 
reformatory such as we propose would be the possibility of doing 
away very largely or entirely with the practice of imposing fines 

78 



on prostitutes. The system of fines has not given altogether 
satisfactory results. The prostitute who is fined is disposed to 
impute to the court the idea that she may earn the means of 
paying the fine on the streets or in a disorderly house. She 
may thus come to regard the fine as a license fee imposed on 
her trade. In any case, if poverty may lead to vice, impoverish- 
ment by fine seems a poor method of preventing vice. 

III. PREVENTIVE WORK BY WOMEN WITH 
POLICE POWERS. 

If the proportion of Hartford born girls shown by our his- 
tories holds throughout the entire prostitute class of this city, as 
it probably does, more than one out of every three prostitutes 
plying their trade here were recruited from families in this city. 
The Commission also has figures that would indicate that there 
are between forty-five and ninety Hartford born girls practicing 
prostitution in New York City. There are doubtless many others 
in other cities. This would indicate that our city has been a 
fairly prolific source of supply. We have already referred to 
the large number of unprotected young girls on the streets, at 
the moving picture shows and elsewhere. It is among girls 
thus exposed that those seeking victims do their work. The 
natural temptation incident to such exposure may lead by easy 
stages through innocent flirtation down through the other courses 
to the near prostitute class and thence to habitual prostitution. 
Here preventive measures are clearly indicated. It is our opinion 
that two women with police powders but not in uniform could do 
invaluable work with girls not yet fully given to prostitution, 
and possibly even among the confirmed prostitutes. These 
women might be probation officers as the law gives police powers 
to probation officers. The present woman probation officer, 
with her multitudinous duties, does as much distinctively pre- 
ventive work as is possible, but her duties are almost always con- 
nected with cases already brought to the attention of the court. 
In fact, this is the function of a probation officer, as the name 
implies, and involves as much work as it is possible for one 
woman to perform. V/e believe that by getting at girls before 
they become court cases many of them can be kept virtuous, and 
that others who have just gone over the edge between virtue and 
vice can be brought back. 

79 



For obvious reasons women, and women of character and 
ability, are needed for this work. The nature, training and ex- 
perience of the ordinary male police officer does not qualify him 
for such duties. A woman could talk to the girls and their 
parents without giving offence. She could perform her work 
on the streets, in the theatres, dance halls and other places less 
conspicuously and with more certainty. The sympathetic attitude 
of a woman, her intuitions and understanding of her own sex 
would give her an influence with these girls such as no man could 
attain. 

IV. OPPORTUNITIES FOR RECREATION. 

In the preceding chapter we have indicated the importance 
of recreational facilities in view of the strong human need for 
play and the dangerous allurements of vice when opportunities 
for wholesome recreation are lacking. In this place we wish to 
point out, with special reference to local conditions, some of the 
recreational opportunities which have been offered and await 
further development. 

(i) Parks. Our parks are ample in area but still somewhat 
lacking in equipment. The Park Department does excellent work 
with the funds at hand. These funds should be increased from 
time to time so that the Park Department may work out a more 
extensive system of lighting, and that police service may be ex- 
tended in proportion to the growth of the use of the parks. A 
municipal recreation building such as has been recently proposed 
would be of great value to the city. 

(2) Use of School Buildings for Community Purposes. We 
have large sums invested in our school buildings. These build- 
ings and equipment are for the most part idle in the evenings 
and on Saturdays and Sundays. Other cities use them as centers 
of all sorts of social improvements. Here is an opportunity 
awaiting development by public spirited citizens. 

(S) Our Churches^ Our churches are doing much, but far 
less than they could do if they were fully alive to their oppor- 
tunities. Their parish houses and perhaps when necessary their 
halls of worship should be filled with merry-makers every night 
in the week. Here would be opportunities for the moulding of 
character and the protection of womanhood by good influences 

80 



brought to bear on the young Hves that await only some touch of 
chance to determine their whole future. 

(4) Moving Pictures. Put the moving picture machine in 
the parish house or even in the church, if there is no parish 
house ; not to take the place of any of the present activities of the 
church but as an auxiliary whose universality of appeal may 
make it a strong moral force. Even as commercialized, its power 
for good has without doubt far surpassed its evils. It is a com- 
mon remark among the bartenders of Hartford that the moving 
picture show has already played havoc with the profits of the 
saloon in this city. It is not only keeping down the profits ; it is 
keeping down the number of recruits to the enslaving habit of 
drink. (See report of Excise Board of Washington, D. C, 
1912.) 

We fully realize the evils attendant upon the moving picture 
show, and still more those connected with the vaudeville and 
other theatrical performances. We should seek to strip them 
of their evils while we retain what is good. On the whole the 
subject matter of the pictures shown in Hartford is generally 
acknowledged to be good. Commercial competition seems to 
operate for the common good in this respect. 

(^) Other Recreational Opportunities. The Young Men's 
Christian Association and the Women's Christian Association 
furnish recreation of the most desirable kind, but their facilities 
and opportunities are limited as compared to the need of the 
community. The same is true of the social settlements, the Good 
Will Club, the Village Street Mission, Warburton Chapel, and 
the many other enterprises that have helpful recreation as a 
large part of their gift to the city. Their method is excellent ; 
their sphere limited. Society as a whole, and in this instance 
the city, should fill the gap not covered by these organizations. 

V. IMPROVEMENT IN PHYSICAL SURROUNDINGS 
AS A CURE FOR VICE. 

The effect of the general cleaning up of a locality has a most 
pronounced efifect in driving vice to cover. To be sure this 
sometimes means only a change of the habitat of vice, but what 
produces results in one part of the city may be made more or 
less operative elsewhere. An illustration of this was the efifect 
produced by the opening of Gold street. Before its opening 

81 



this street was a rookery of vice, large numbers of prostitutes 
living there and soliciting from the windows. No. 5 Arch street, 
a place well known for many years as a bawdy house, lost this 
character when the buildings north of that street were torn 
down. State street was cleansed of prostitutes in 1908 when 
it was broadened, paved and made a thoroughfare between this 
city and East Hartford, Charles street, formerly infested by 
prostitutes of the lowest sort, was exposed to the Boulevard by 
tearing down the houses east of it. Then it appeared that vice, 
like vermin, cannot bear the light. One of the most immediate 
ways to rid the city of disreputable localities is to clean them up 
physically, beautify them and open them up to public view. 
Avoid the construction of back alleys and rear tenements. 



VI. THE REPORTING OF VENEREAL DISEASES. 

By the statutes of the state venereal diseases are specifically 
exempted from the list of reportable diseases. No one doubts 
that they may be communicated by one person to another, either 
by personal contact (the most frequent manner), or indirectly, 
by utensils, clothing, linen, etc. The only question is — Shall 
they be reported to the health officers of boards of health as are 
other contagious diseases? On this point there is a difference 
of opinion. 

The cases of ordinary contagious diseases, such as scarlet 
fever and diphtheria, are reported by name in order that their 
prevalence may be known, and that the patients and attendants 
may be isolated, and the premises afterwards disinfected. It 
is not proposed to isolate those infected with venereal diseases. 
Isolation is unnecessary and, moreover, the contagious stage of 
these diseases is so long (at least three months in one of them 
and two years or more in the other), and, unfortunately, so many 
persons in some portions of their lives have become infected 
(innocently or guiltily), that it is utterly impracticable to attempt 
their quarantine. If they are not to be isolated why should they 
be reported? 

The known infection by venereal disease often brings dis- 
grace and, to some extent, ostracism. If the guilty alone were 
thus punished no injustice would be done, but in many instances 
the suffering of innocent persons would be augmented and they 

82 



would be unjustly punished for the sins of others were their 
affliction made known. 

That an innocent wife or husband should be infected by a 
guilty one is outrageous and revolting. If reporting by name 
cases of venereal disease would prevent this infection, it ought 
to be done. The f^ar of publicity might act as a deterrent to 
some persons, but so much suffering and hardship would fall 
upon others from exposure that we hesitate to recommend it. 
Families would be broken up and the lot of innocent wives and 
children made harder, while the community as a whole would 
gain but little. 

The practical difficulties in the way of a complete report 
by name are great; indeed, almost insuperable. The difficulty 
of accurate diagnosis is often such that a conscientious physician 
would hesitate to report a case, not only for fear of injustice 
to the patient, but also of the danger of a suit for libel. And, 
when innocent persons are the patients, physicians would be 
loath to expose them to the publicity which would follow report- 
ing. The practical result would be that some cases no physician 
would report; and other cases, which ought perhaps to be re- 
ported, would go to unscrupulous physicians, who would agree 
not to report them. Thus the law would prove a failure. 

The most that would be gained from reporting by name, 
even if the law were obeyed, would be a knowledge of the extent 
of the prevalence of venereal diseases, since it is not proposed 
to isolate infected persons. This knowledge can be obtained 
by the reporting of such cases by description only, and not by 
name. All objections to reporting are by this method removed 
and all the advantages retained. We are of the opinion that all 
cases of venereal disease should be reported in this manner to 
health officers or boards of health. The report could be made 
sufficiently descriptive to establish the individuality of each case 
(without disclosing the identity of the person), and to prevent 
the duplication of the same case even if reported by several 
physicians. Such cases should be reported on blanks substan- 
tially as follows : 

1 . Date. 

2. Exact age of patient. 

3. Sex of patient. 

4. Name of physician reporting. 

83 



5- Names of previous physicians consulted, with approxi- 
mate dates. 

6. Disease. 

7. Is the diagnosis beyond reasonable doubt or based on 

probabilities ? 

8. Date of the infection. 

9. Place of infection. 

10. Source of infection: 

a. From a professional prostitute? 

b. From a semi-professional prostitute? 

c. From an acquaintance? 

d. From husband? 

e. From wife? 

f. From other innocent source? 

11. Complications thus far present. 

12. To what extent is patient a menace to society? 

Under special circumstances the Board of Health could then 
in some instances takes action. 



VII. PHYSICIAN'S CERTIFICATE AS A 
PRE-REQUISITE FOR MARRIAGE. 

This Commission has carefully considered the arguments for 
and against a physician's certificate as a pre-requisite to marriage, 
and believes that there are so many practical objections to such 
a requirement that it would not be advisable to recommend it. 
We do recommend, however, that applicants for a license to 
marry should state under oath that they have not contracted 
gonorrhoea within six months or syphilis within two years. 
The commission suggests the terms of six months and two years 
respectively because, according to the accepted authorities, these 
are the minimum periods within which, with the best medical 
care and attention and with the cooperation of the patient, the 
diseases in question can be safely declared cured. In other words 
no person should be permitted by law to marry who has con- 
tracted either disease within the time specified for that disease 
no matter what that person believes as to his or her own cure or 

84 



what any physician may say. The above requirement would have 
all the educational advantage claimed for the physician's certifi- 
cate, and is not open to most of the objections which could be 
made against the physician's certificate. 



VIII. THE PUBLISHING OF BANNS. 

We believe that the publishing of banns in advance is a 
desirable custom, but to make even this obligatory by law might 
in some instances exactly reverse the intent of such a law. We 
believe the clergy should do all they can to popularize this 
custom. 

IX. AGE OF CONSENT. 

We recommend the raising of the age of consent for women 
to eighteen years, provided that legislation be at the same time 
enacted which establishes degrees of rape, with penalties to 
correspond to the gravity of the offence.* The aim of such 
legislation should be to throw every possible safeguard about the 
girl, while recognizing the fact that a boy less than eighteen years 
of age having sexual intercourse with a willing girl below the 
age of consent should not be punished so severely as a mature 
man who seduces a young girl. 

X. ARREST OF PATRONS OF PROSTITUTION. 

We further urge that the male patrons of prostitutes, re- 
gardless of their social standing, be tried, and punished if con- 
victed. Often in making raids men have been intentionally 
allowed to escape. In other cases where they have been brought 
to the police station they have not been booked for trial. In yet 
other cases men have been allowed to give fictitious names when 
their true names were known, and have been prosecuted under 
such fictitious names. In fact, it has too frequently been the 
custom, in one way or another, to protect from exposure all men 
except regular hangers-on of the lowest type. 



* See Colorado Statute relating to rape (Colorado Statutes, Annotated, 
Section 1649.) 

85 



XL THE IOWA INJUNCTION AND ABATEMENT LAW. 

This Commission is in favor of legislation drawn on the 
general principles of the above law. This law would compel 
the owners of real estate and the real estate agents to take a 
very lively interest in the use and reputation of their property. 
The law is reported to work satisfactorily in Iowa, where it 
was passed in 1909, and has also been introduced into twelve 
other states and territories. (Vigilance, March 19, 1913, page 
27.) 

In Connecticut and in practically every state in the Union 
we have laws that provide that the owner of real estate who 
allows his property to be used for improper purposes is liable 
to criminal prosecution. The practical difficulty found in Con- 
necticut has been that it is exceedingly difficult to bring home 
to the titled owners personal knowledge of the fact that the 
place is being conducted as a house of ill-fame or for assignation 
purposes. In many instances the owner really does not know; 
in other cases the real owner merely transfers title to some out 
of town person. Under the Iowa statute it may be established 
that the house is a nuisance ; and the prosecution may be brought 
against the building itself. A successful prosecution can go as 
far as to close the building absolutely for a year, whether the 
owner knows it has been used for illegitimate purposes or not. 
A fine can also be levied against the property and collected like 
any municipal assessment; it can be put on record as a lien 
against the property, and come next to the tax lien; that is, it 
will take precedence over mortgages or other encumbrances. 
The statute can go still further in enforcing the penalty against 
the house itself. The personal property within the house can 
be removed by the authorities and can even be ordered sold and 
a fine of three hundred dollars collected. The house can then be 
absolutely closed to anybody's use for the space of one year. 



XII. TIN PLATE ORDINANCE. 

The original ordinance was passed in Portland, Oregon. It 
requires that every building, used in whole or in part as a hotel, 
rooming house, lodging house, boarding house, tenement house, 
or saloon, should have displayed thereon a plate bearing the name 

86 



and address of the owner in letters of sufficient size to be 
readable from the street. When the owner of the building is 
not the owner of the land the names of both must be displayed. 
Where title is held in a representative capacity (for example, 
as a trustee) the name of the representative must be displayed. 

We believe that such an ordinance would have a direct re- 
pressive action upon prostitution in this city. Its indirect 
influence would also be large, as it would make for a better 
enforcement of tenement house laws, laws respecting sanitation, 
and laws of all kinds concerning disorderly places. To take a 
concrete instance, a certain saloon in Hartford was noted during 
the months of our investigation as being used almost exclusively 
as a rendezvous for prostitutes, their pimps and patrons. The 
place was not on the East Side but on a street where it was quite 
conspicuous. It is fairly safe to assume that if the owner's 
name had been displayed over the door of that saloon the 
premises would never have been used as they were. In any 
event his attention would have been called so frequently to the 
disorderly acts taking place within that he could not plead 
ignorance. It is unlikely that he would have been willing to 
have it advertised that he was profiting as landlord by the pimp- 
owned girls operating within. 

We could name numerous other instances in which such an 
ordinance as we have proposed would have an equally salutary 
effect. There are numerous rookeries whose owners would 
hesitate to display their names upon them in their present 
condition. 

CONCLUSION. 

The measures considered in this chapter are preventive, 
aiming at the elimination of factors which lead men and women 
into vice, and at such development of mind and character that 
temptation may be resisted and the sexual side of life given its 
proper place. We make no pretence of having discussed all 
possible means of prevention. Probably every social or political 
reform which diminishes poverty and raises the general moral 
and intellectual tone of the community, contributes more or less 
directly to a decrease of the social evil. In addition to preventive 
methods, repressive measures may be used to combat this evil. 

87 



In an earlier chapter we have commended the vigorous policy 
of our municipal administration in closing houses of prostitu- 
tion and suppressing solicitation on the streets. We realize that 
the evil cannot be entirely eradicated, but we do maintain that 
its most degrading aspects and the commercial factors which 
play such a sinister role in connection with the open houses of 
ill fame can be stamped out entirely. If public opinion will 
declare that houses of prostitution shall never again be tolerated 
in this city, a distinct and permanent advance will have been 
made. We make our appeal primarily to the citizens of 
Hartford. Our constituted authorities have done their part 
well. But it must be remembered that the morality of a com- 
munity depends more on the private life and public spirit of its 
individual citizens than on the administrative acts of public 
officials. 



88 



CHAPTER VIII. 

SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS. 

In the preceding pages of our report we have indicated at 
different points the practical conclusions to which our study of 
the social evil has led us and the facts and considerations on 
which they are based. By way of summary we embody these 
conclusions in the following recommendations : 

( 1 ) That the present policy of keeping the houses of pros- 
titution closed be adhered to rigidly. 

(2) That this policy of repression be extended to prosti- 
tution in connection with disorderly saloons, cafes, rooming 
houses and hotels. 

(3) That a special fund be appropriated each year and 
placed at the disposal of the Mayor and the Chief of Police for 
use in employing detectives from outside the city whenever it 
appears that the police department is hampered by the fact that 
its own detectives are too well known. 

(4) That there be no discrimination in respect to sex or 
social standing in the efforts to suppress the social evil. 

(5) That our citizens take a special interest in the personel 
and policies of the Police Court. 

(6) That favorable consideration be given to the question 
of adding women to our police force, either as special officers 
or as additional probation officers, to do preventive work among 
girls. 

(7) That an ordinance be enacted to insure adequate 
lighting of the moving picture theatres. 

(8) That the statute concerning the admission of children 
to theatres and moving picture houses be enforced. 

(9) That the tenement house laws be rigidly enforced and 
strong efforts made to furnish additional facilities for recreation 
under wholesome conditions. 

(10) That the Board of Health be requested to furnish 
laboratory facilities to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of 

89 



venereal diseases; and that the Board of Health be further 
requested to secure the anonymous registration of such diseases, 
(ii) That careful consideration be given to the problem 
of sex education. 

(12) That legislation be enacted along the lines of the 
Iowa Injunction and Abatement Law. 

(13) That a law be passed containing the provisions of 
the Tin Plate ordinance of the city of Portland, Oregon. 

(14) That legislation be enacted raising the age of consent 
for women to eighteen years ; and together with this, legislation 
establishing degrees of rape in such manner that boys convicted 
of sexual relations with willing girls below the age of consent 
be not punished as severely as mature men. 

(15) That action be taken to establish a State Reformatory 
for Women. 

Of the above recommendations the first is the one which 
we would emphasize in concluding this report. Keep the 
houses of prostitution closed. It can be done and has been done 
in this city now for some eighteen months. None of the evils 
predicted by the advocates of toleration have followed. On the 
other hand, some of the worst evils of the traffic in vice have 
been diminished. This policy of suppression is the only one 
which has the sanction of law, and therefore the only one which 
we can honestly recommend. Enforce the law. 

[SIGNED:] 

Ernest A. Wells 
J. Gilbert Calhoun 
William P. Calder 
Edith McCoy Kingsbury 
Flavel S. Luther 
Martin Toscan Bennett 
Miss Martha J. Wilkinson 
Wm. H. C. Whiting 
Morgan B. Brainard 
GusTAV A. Kleene 
Thomas F. Welch 
Edward B. Hooker 
Walter S. Schutz 
Edward L Smith 



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